Jackson Leads Waves to 60-59 Win Over Fresno Pacific
Dec. 28, 2012
Lorne Jackson made two clutch plays in the final 20 seconds, including the game-winning lay-up with 3.5 seconds left, to lift the Pepperdine men's basketball team to a 60-59 win over Fresno Pacific on Friday night.
The Waves finished non-conference play with an 8-5 record, their most wins heading into West Coast Conference play since 2004-05. Fresno Pacific, an NCAA Division II school, was counting this game as an exhibition.
Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS), who scored 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting, nailed a three-pointer from the right baseline to put the Waves in front 58-57 with 17.3 seconds left. But FPU's Matt Samuels countered with a lay-up, putting the Sunbirds back ahead 59-58 with eight seconds remaining.
Jackson took the ball and drove the length of the floor, driving in and scoring with 3.5 seconds left to give Pepperdine a 60-59 advantage on the 18th lead change of the night. Jackson was fouled, but never got a chance to finish the three-point play because a lane violation wiped out his free throw attempt.
Fresno Pacific tried to rush the ball up the floor, but a hurried three-point attempt at the buzzer by Zach Kaul missed the mark.
"It was a weird game," Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson said. "We had no flow for whatever reason. I'm going to watch the game film tonight or first thing in the morning and try to figure out what was going on out there. We had a lack of energy, which was embarrassing. I am proud of us making plays at the right time. Lorne Jackson was big making the final plays."
Freshman forward Stacy Davis (Laveen, Ariz./Fairfax HS) had team highs of 18 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Nikolas Skouen (Bergen, Norway/Pratt CC) scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half.
The Waves had advantages in shooting (45.7% to 37.8%) and rebounding (31-24) but Fresno Pacific hit more free throws (19 to 13) and made the most of Pepperdine's turnovers, scoring 25 points on 13 Wave miscues.
Pepperdine jumped out to a 9-2 lead, and the seven-point margin would be the largest of the night by either team. Fresno Pacific would come back to take its first lead at 13-11, and the Sunbirds would eventually go into halftime with a 28-27 lead.
The game went back-and-forth in the second half. Fresno Pacific led by four points on five occasions, including 57-53 after Samuels made two free throws with 1:15 left. The Waves were in the midst of a nearly six-minute stretch without a field goal, which finally ended when senior guard Caleb Willis (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge HS) grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 56 seconds left. The Waves got a defensive stop on the Sunbirds' next possession, setting up Jackson's two clutch end-of-game baskets.
Wilson credited the play of freshman guard Atif Russell (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes HS), saying: "I thought he was the difference in the second half because he came in and gave us a lift defensively. He guarded their point guard and made it harder for them to run their offense."
The Sunbirds were actually playing without their two leading scorers, John Taylor (22.7 ppg) and Malcolm Griffin (16.5), who were stranded in Chicago for weather-related reasons. Trevon Clayton had 15 points and eight rebounds to lead FPU.
Pepperdine begins conference play next weekend at home against Gonzaga (Thursday, Jan. 3, 6 p.m.) and Portland (Saturday, Jan. 5, 7 p.m.). The Gonzaga game will be shown locally by Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Both games can also be seen via WaveCasts and www.pepperdinesports.com, and fans can join an interactive live game blog/chat on the site.