PORTLAND, Ore. Â The coldest shooting night of the season cost the Pepperdine men’s basketball team as the Waves fell 74-45 at Portland in a West Coast Conference game on Thursday evening.
The Waves (8-19, 5-6), who shot a season-low 23.3% from the field, saw their season-high three-game winning streak come to an end. Portland (17-9, 8-3) remained in second place in the WCC with the victory.
Freshman guard Dane Suttle Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Westchester HS/Summit College Prep) scored a team-high 13 points, his most in WCC play this season, and went 8-for-11 from the free-throw line. Freshman guard Keion Bell (Los Angeles, Calif./Pasadena HS) scored 12 points, his ninth straight game in double-figures, and also had eight rebounds and three assists.
The Pilots broke out to a 39-18 halftime lead as the Waves shot just 23% (7-for-30) from the field, including 0-for-11 from three-point range. Pepperdine had a six-minute scoring drought as Portland built a 21-6 lead at the 10-minute mark. Senior guard Mike Hornbuckle (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian HS/Azusa Pacific) made a jumper with 9:59 left, but the Waves managed just four free throws over the next eight-plus minutes as the Pilots extended their lead to 32-12.
Freshman center Corbin Moore (Cypress, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) scored the first basket of the second half, but the Pilots scored the next 11 points to make it a 30-point lead at 50-20 with 15:25 to play. The Waves missed their first 16 three-point attempts before Suttle finally connected with one with 9:12 to go, but that only made the score 60-31.
The Waves entered the game as the WCC’s top free throw shooting team at 71%, but their cold shooting even extended to the charity stripe, as they went 15-for-27 (55.6%). Pepperdine finished 2-for-20 on three-pointers (10.0%). The Pilots shot 47.5% from the field and 47.1% (8-for-17) on three-pointers.
All 14 players that were available got into the game. Eleven were freshmen or sophomores and nine weren’t on the roster last year.
The Waves continue their Pacific Northwest road swing at #17 Gonzaga on Saturday (Feb. 21) at 8:30 p.m. The game will be shown on ESPNU. Subscribers to “Wave Casts” at www.pepperdinesports.com can listen to Al Epstein’s call of the action.