Waves Stun Portland After Huge Comeback
Pepperdine’s top scorer, freshman guard Tyrone Shelley, fouled out with 12:27 left and the Pilots held a 51-33 lead with nine minutes to go. But out of nowhere, the Waves hit five three-pointers and went on a 17-1 run over two-plus minutes, making it a two-point game at 52-50 with 6:45 to play.
Tucker hit one free throw with 13.6 seconds left, then added two more with 3.9 seconds left to seal the win. He finished with a team-high 17 points, all of which came in the second half.
After Pepperdine (8-17, 2-7) got within two points,
Junior guard Mike Hornbuckle (
Thomas, the Waves’ only remaining post player on the roster, gamely battled the Pilots’ bigger frontline and pulled down 12 rebounds, the ninth time this season he reached double-figures. He added nine points.
“This feels so good,” Tucker said. “I feel like all of our hard work that we’ve put in showed tonight. We came out and attacked in the second half and got the rebounds. Personally, after a couple of rotations, I felt like I could get past their guards. From there, I had to finish. So many guys hit big shots though, like Mike Hornbuckle and Jon Reed, plus there was Malcolm’s rebounding.”
“These guys played with the heart of a champion,” Pepperdine interim coach Eric Bridgeland said. “They’ve come close so many times and couldn’t get over the hump. But every time we’ve fallen short they’ve come back the next day and worked hard. They didn’t need this win, they deserved this win. I’m so proud of them.”
The Waves suffered through an eight-minute scoreless stretch in the first half and shot just 25.9% percent from the field before halftime. Reed gave Pepperdine a 7-5 lead with his three-pointer at 16:21, but when he hit his next one with 8:23 left, the Pilots had exploited the Waves’ cold shooting and led 18-10. The teams roughly traded points the rest of the half and
After the difficult first half, the Waves shot 57.7% in the second half and finished at 41.5% for the game.
The Waves’ nearly made a second-half comeback in the first meeting with the Pilots, an 82-78
For the first time this season in a meaningful game, freshmen scored fewer than half of the Waves’ points, accumulating just 26 of the 71 (36.7%). The only other time freshmen scored less than half was in the 118-76 win over Hope International where reserves saw most of the playing time.
The Waves have their final two home games of the season next weekend when they host