Waves' Comeback Effort Falls Short at Washington State
Dec. 15, 2013
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Pepperdine men's basketball team tried for a second straight double-digit comeback victory on the road, but eventually ran out of gas and lost at Washington State, 78-61, on Sunday night.
Eight days ago, the Waves (6-5) came back from a 10-point halftime deficit to win at UC Irvine, 75-69. Tonight, the Cougars (5-4) took a 41-26 lead at halftime and were up by 18 early in the second half. The Waves sliced the deficit down to seven points with less than seven minutes to play before WSU was finally able to put an end to Pepperdine's charge.
Freshman guard Jeremy Major (Pasadena, Calif./Maranatha HS) scored a team-high 17 points for the Waves, 15 of them in the second half. Sophomore forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) scored 11 of his 12 points after the break.
The Waves were outshot (53.6% to 38.5%), outrebounded (39-34) and committed more turnovers (15-9) than the Cougars.
If Pepperdine excelled at anything, it was free throw defense, as Washington State went just 13-for-30. But the Waves weren't able to capitalize as they made just 14 of 29 from the charity stripe themselves.
"We started the game out a little nervous for whatever reason," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "We were very tentative and they were aggressive defensively. We turned the ball over too many times in the first half and gave them easy baskets. We've got to defend ... They did a good job of defending us. They're a physical team and bigger than we are for the most part at every position. They probably got us frustrated at times and took us out of some of our offense."
The Cougars jumped out to a 10-0 lead and forced 12 turnovers in the first half en route to their 15-point halftime lead.
After WSU scored the first three points of the second half, the Waves got it back to a 10-point game at 45-35 thanks to a 9-1 run, which began with five straight points by Major.
A Major lay-up made it a single-digit game once again at 54-45 with 10:21 to play. A three-pointer by Major, which was followed by freshman guard Lamond Murray Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Bishop Montgomery HS) making a free throw on the next possession, cut the deficit to seven at 61-54 with 7:31 left.
WSU's Royce Woolridge hit a three-pointer, but Major came back with his third three-pointer of the second half, putting the Cougars' advantage back at seven at 64-57 with 6:43 to play.
But that would be as close as Pepperdine would get, as WSU took command again with a 12-2 run. After Major's three-pointer, the Waves were held without a field goal for nearly six minutes.
Junior guard Malcolm Brooks (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lamar CC) scored nine points, while senior forward Brendan Lane (Rocklin, Calif./Rocklin HS/UCLA) contributed eight points and eight rebounds. Both Lane and Davis had to sit for extended periods of time with foul trouble.
Pepperdine completes the non-conference season at home next Saturday (Dec. 21) against Houston Baptist at 1 p.m. It's a doubleheader with the Pepperdine women's team, which faces Northern Arizona at 3:30 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com.