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Men's Hoops Loses at Home for First Time, 80-77 to Central Michigan

Jordan Baker
Jordan Baker
 
 

Dec. 16, 2012

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MALIBU, Calif. - Both the Pepperdine and the Central Michigan men's basketball teams had their best long-range shooting nights of the season, but the Chippewas were a little better and the Waves suffered their first home loss, 80-77, on Sunday night.

Central Michigan (5-4) hit 14 of 29 three-pointers, while Pepperdine (6-4) was 11-for-22. Both teams had four players connect on multiple threes.

And although the Waves outshot the Chippewas 53.4% to 50.0% overall and had a 35-19 rebounding edge, Pepperdine couldn't overcome 19 turnovers (CMU had only eight) and Central Michigan's success at the free throw line (16-for-24, compared to 4-for-4 for the Waves).

"What I shared with the team is that it came down to mental and physical toughness," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "They were tougher than us, they got the loose balls and the block outs. All the mental and physical things that needed to be done, they outworked us in those areas. We had too many guys fall asleep on situations where we didn't help off the strong side. We knew they were going to shoot a lot of threes, and we went brain dead. They dialed up a three and there were too many of those. That's the disappointing part. We shot the ball well."

Junior guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) had team highs and tied his career highs with 16 points and four three-pointers. Sophomore guard Jordan Baker (Tempe, Ariz./Tempe HS) nearly had Pepperdine's second-ever triple-double as he finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

Senior guard Lorne Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) scored 11 of his 13 points in the final four minutes of regulation as he tried to get the Waves back into the game. He made three three-pointers to move onto Pepperdine's all-time top 10 list with 122 in his career.

Freshman forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) had 12 points and five rebounds, freshman forward Jett Raines (Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS) had 10 points and six rebounds and freshman guard Atif Russell (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS) posted a season-high 10 points.

The Waves led for the first six minutes of the game, but CMU's Blake Hibbits sank three three-pointers during a 9-0 run all of his own to put the Chippewas ahead 21-14. Central Michigan made seven of its first 11 three-pointers and went into halftime with a 32-30 lead.

Skouen sank a three-pointer to open the second half to put Pepperdine in front 33-32, but that would be the Waves' only lead of the second half as the Chippewas responded with three-pointers by Austin Keel, John Simons and Kyle Randall, putting CMU back ahead 41-33. The Chippewas took their biggest lead of 13 points for the first time at 50-37 with 14 minutes to go on a lay-up by Randall.

The Waves fought back and eventually got within one point at 66-65 after a three-pointer by Jackson with 3:47 left. But Hibbits responded with his fifth three-pointer, and Randall later nailed his fourth, putting Central Michigan up 72-65 with a little more than two minutes to play.

The Waves kept trying to close the gap, and a three-pointer by Jackson made the score 78-77 with about two seconds left. But CMU's Randall made both of his free throws with 0.7 seconds left, and the Waves' inbounds pass was knocked away at midcourt.

Pepperdine women's basketball coach Julie Rousseau led a pregame prayer in support of those affected by Friday's tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

The Waves will next play in the Tulane Classic, where they will battle Alabama State on Wednesday (Dec. 19) at 4 p.m. CT / 2 p.m. PT, and the host Green Wave on Thursday (Dec. 20) at 7 p.m. CT / 5 p.m. PT. Fans can listen to Al Epstein's broadcasts via WaveCasts at www.pepperdinesports.com.

 

 

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