Men's Hoops Rallies to Beat UC Irvine, 75-69
Dec. 7, 2013
IRVINE, Calif. - Newcomers Jeremy Major and Malcolm Brooks keyed a huge second-half effort as the Pepperdine men's basketball team rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to win at UC Irvine, 75-69, on Saturday night.
The Waves (6-4) outscored the Anteaters (5-5) 45-29 in the second half, taking the lead for good with a little less than nine minutes to play, and improved to 3-0 in true road games this season.
Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS), a freshman guard, scored 14 of his 18 points after the break, and Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lamar CC), a junior guard, poured in 13 of his season-high 16 after halftime. Sophomore forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) posted his first double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
"We're fired up with this win," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "We talked before the game about our energy. The second half, we're down big, but we had energy."
Pepperdine led briefly at the start of the game, but trailed the rest of the first half. UC Irvine broke out to a 19-12 lead after a 7-0 run, but the Waves scored the next six points to make it a one-point game at 19-18 with under 12 minutes to go. It was a three-point contest after freshman guard Lamond Murray Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS) converted a three-point play with 2:42 to go, but UCI ended the half with its second 7-0 run of the contest, and the Anteaters went into the break with a 40-30 lead.
After shooting 41.4% in the first half, the Waves raised their effort to 50.0% in the second (45.6% overall). Even more importantly, after allowing UCI to shoot 57.7% in the first half, Pepperdine forced the Anteaters to shoot just 33.3% in the second (45.3% overall).
The Waves closed the gap quickly to start the second half, but didn't tie the game until Davis sank a three-pointer to make it 50-50 with 11:40 left in the contest. Two free throws by sophomore forward Jett Raines (Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS) gave the Waves their first lead since the opening moments of the game at 52-50, and while UCI later tied the game twice, Pepperdine never trailed again.
Tied at 54, Brooks converted a three-point play with 8:45 left, and he then sank a three-pointer with eight minutes to go to put Pepperdine in front 60-54. Later, Brooks pushed Pepperdine's lead up to 67-60 with three minutes left after another basket.
UCI got the deficit down to four points, but the 5-foot-10 Major had a tip-in with 1:27 left, and he then sank two free throws with 1:13 left to increase Pepperdine's lead to 71-63.
The Anteaters weren't done yet, however, as the Waves twice missed the front end of a one-and-one in the final minute and UCI made two three-pointers, the last one with 12.7 seconds left, making the score 71-69. But Major made two clinching free throws with 8.2 seconds left, followed by UC Irvine missing its final shot and Davis ending the scoring with two free throws.
Raines provided a spark off the bench in his second game back from injury, contributing seven points and six rebounds. Senior forward Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA), plagued with some foul trouble, finished with four points, six rebounds and three assists.
Pepperdine ended up with a 38-35 rebounding edge against the bigger Anteaters, and also committed just eight turnovers to UCI's 12.
After a week off for final exams, Pepperdine will next be in action at Washington State on Sunday, December 15, at 5 p.m. It will be televised by the Pac-12 Network and there will be an audio-only broadcast via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com with Al Epstein on the call.