Waves Win on Road Again, Beating Hawai'i 63-56
Dec. 8, 2012
Jordan Baker's 15 points and seven rebounds, the Pepperdine men's basketball team won for the sixth time in seven games with a hard-fought 63-56 victory at Hawai'i on Saturday night.
Pepperdine improved to 6-3 overall (its best record after nine games since 2004-05) after hitting a season-high 10 three-pointers and holding the Rainbow Warriors (4-3) to 33.3% shooting for the night.
The Waves led for nearly the entire game, and though Hawaii tied the game at 38-38 in the second half, the Waves responded with a 10-2 run.
Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS), a sophomore guard, went 3-for-4 from distance and also had three assists. Senior guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) and senior guard Caleb Willis (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge HS) each had 11 points and four rebounds. Baker and Willis combined to score 21 of the Waves' 32 second-half points.
"We're so excited, excited that we're continuing to grow," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "We've been in situations like this at Cal State Northridge and Utah Valley but lost. This time we executed offensively, we executed by making our free throws. Everyone that played contributed in a number of different ways. I couldn't be more proud of our guys."
The Rainbow Warriors had a two-point lead on three occasions at the start of the game, but the Waves nailed four of their first five three-point attempts to go in front 16-10, and they'd never trail again.
It was tied 23-23 but the Waves scored the final eight points before halftime to go into the break with a 31-23 lead. Junior forward Malte Kramer (Frieburg, Germany/Cuesta CC), making his season debut after recovering from summer knee surgery, nailed two late three-pointers.
Hawai'i kept getting close in the second half, but could never take the lead. Pepperdine led by just one at 35-34, but Baker nailed a three-pointer. Tied 38-38, Baker hit his third three-pointer of the game.
With a 41-40 lead, Willis took over, scoring seven straight points to put the Waves in front 48-40 with 8:28 to play. Pepperdine would later take its largest lead of nine points at 55-46 with 3:41 left on a free throw by junior forward Moriba De Freitas (Bon Air Gardens, Trinidad/Williston State JC) - the team's first made free throw of the night.
Hawai'i would cut the deficit to five points toward the end, but Pepperdine made eight of 10 free throws in the final 2 1/2 minutes to clinch the victory.
Though turnovers were almost even (10 by the Waves, 11 by the Rainbow Warriors), Pepperdine made the most of them, accumulating a 22-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
The Waves improved to 3-1 against Big West Conference schools this season. According to Pepperdine records, it's the first time in five tries that the Waves have beaten the Rainbow Warriors in Honolulu. It's also Pepperdine's third road win of the season.
The Waves will now take a week off from competition due to final exams, and will next be in action a week from Sunday (Dec. 16) when they host Central Michigan at 5 p.m. Fans can watch the game and listen to Al Epstein's broadcast via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com as well as join an interactive live game chat/blog.