UNLV Visits Pepperdine On Wednesday As Waves Seek Seventh Straight Win
Dec. 7, 2004
Complete Men's Basketball Release in PDF Format
THIS WEEK: The Pepperdine men's basketball team will look to equal its best start to a season since the 1985-86 campaign when it closes out a season-long four-game homestand Wednesday night against UNLV at Firestone Fieldhouse beginning at 7 p.m.
The Waves are currently 3-0 at home this year and have won six in a row since losing their season-opener to East Carolina at the BCA Invitational in Raleigh, North Carolina
TV-RADIO: There is no live radio or television for Wednesday's game versus UNLV. However, all the action can be followed live on the Internet at www.PepperdineSports.com. The game can be heard live with veteran play-by-play announcer Al Epstein calling the action. All regular-season and post-season games involving the Waves can be heard on the Internet. Live stats are also available for selected Pepperdine games via Gametracker.
VIDEO STREAMING ALSO AVAILABLE: In addition to listening live to the broadcast, video streaming is also available at www.PepperdineSports.com.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE: The Waves are currently 6-1 on the season and have won six in a row after defeating Azusa Pacific, 84-65, Saturday afternoon at Firestone Fieldhouse. Senior forward Yakhouba Diawara scored a game-high 21 points and junior guard Alex Acker produced his first double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Waves' six-game winning streak is their longest since posting 13 consecutive victories during the 2001-02 season, Paul Westphal's, first as head coach. Pepperdine went on to register a 22-9 overall record, tied for the West Coast Conference's (WCC) regular-season title and earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.
WAVES NO. 4 IN MID-MAJOR POLL: Buoyed by a six-game winning streak, the Pepperdine men's basketball team reamined No. 4 in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll that was released on Monday. The Waves were ranked No. 7 in CollegeInsider.com's preseason poll. West Coast Conference (WCC) rival Gonzaga is No. 1 and is followed by Creighton and Southern Illinois. Saint Mary's (6-3), which opened the year No. 5 is No. 9 for the second straight week.
AZUSA PACIFIC RECAP: Senior forward Yakhouba Diawara scored a game-high 21 points and junior guard Alex Acker registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pepperdine men's basketball team to an 84-65 victory over Azusa Pacific Saturday afternoon. Senior center Jesse Pinegar and senior forward Glen McGowan added 13 and 12 points, respectively. After a first half that saw five lead changes, Pepperdine opened the second half with a 37-30 lead. Azusa Pacific (5-2) kept the score close, trailing as few as five points at 49-44 with 14:42 remaining before sophomore guard Marvin Lea and Acker hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Waves an 11-point lead at 55-44 with 13:22 remaining. From that point on, Pepperdine held a double-digit lead and led by as many as 23 points with 1:36 to play. After shooting just 41.9 percent from the field in the first half, the Waves improved that number to 50.0 percent in the second half, connecting on 16 of 32 field goal attempts and finished the game with a 46.0 mark. Pepperdine's improved shooting in the second half was fueled by its defense and size underneath as the Waves limited the Cougars to 32.3 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes and 37.3 percent for the game. Pepperdine held a 42-36 advantage on the boards and out-scored Azusa Pacific, 32-12, in the paint.
ABOUT UNLV: UNLV enters Wednesday's game against Pepperdine with a 2-2 record and is coming off an 84-78 loss at Nevada on Saturday. The Runnin' Rebels currently have three players averaging in double figures and are led by senior forward Odartey Blankson, who is averaging 17.0 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds a game. UNLV is averaging 72.8 points a game while allowing 70.2 points a contest. Head coach Lon Kruger is in his first season leading the Rebels' and has a career record to date of 320-235 (.576).
SERIES VERSUS UNLV: Wednesday's contest between Pepperdine and UNLV will mark the 21st meeting between the two schools, with the Runnin' Rebels leading the all-time series, 16-4. The two teams last met during in 2000 and UNLV registered a 69-64 victory in Las Vegas. The Runnin' Rebels have won six in a row in the series dating back to the 1976-77 campaign. The Waves' last win in the series came during the 1975-76 season when they posted a 93-91 victory over UNLV at Firestone Fieldhouse.
FAST STARTS: Pepperdine enters Wednesday's game searching for its first 7-1 start since the 1985-86 campaign when, after losing their season-opener, the Waves ran off seven straight wins to open the year 7-1 en route to a 25-5 record and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Pepperdine has started a season 7-0 three times, accomplishing the feat in 1942-43 (7-0), 1957-58 (9-0), and 1975-76 (8-0).
WAVES DURING SIX-GAME WIN STREAK: During Pepperdine's six-game winning streak, the Waves are averaging 78.3 points a contest and allowing 68.5...Pepperdine is out-scoring its an opponents by an average of 9.8 points a game...The Waves are shooting are 49.0 percent from the field and limiting their opponents to a 41.3 percent mark...Senior forward Glen McGowan is averaging 19.0 points a game to lead Pepperdine while junior guard Alex Acker is contributing 17.5 points, a team-leading 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists a contest.
MISCELLANEOUS STATISTICS: Through seven games this season, Pepperdine is currently averaging 75.4 points a contest while allowing 70.1 points a game...The Waves rank third in the West Coast Conference (WCC) in scoring offense behind Gonzaga (83.8) and Loyola Marymount (77.4), and sixth in scoring defense. Pepperdine is connecting on 46.1 percent of its shots to rank third in the WCC after Gonzaga (51.8) and Portland (47.3)...The Waves are second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (40.0), trailing Loyola Marymount (42.3)...Individually, senior forward Glen McGowan leads the Waves and ranks fourth in the WCC in scoring, averaging 17.9 points a contest while junior guard Alex Acker is second on the club and ninth in the conference with 15.6 points a game...Acker also leads Pepperdine and is fifth in rebounding with 7.9 boards an outing.....Sophomore guard Marvin Lea tops the Waves and is second in the WCC with 5.00 assists a game...Senior center Jesse Pinegar is converting 56.5 percent (13-of-23) of his three-pointers to lead Pepperdine and rank third in the conference...McGowan has scored in double figures in all seven games this season and has scored 20 or more points, twice...Acker has reached double-figure point totals in six of seven contests and has led the Waves in rebounding in five of seven games.
TOUGH DEFENSE: Pepperdine has turned in solid defensive performances in its last three games as it has held Wisconsin, UC Santa Barabra and Azusa Pacific to 60.7 points a game and limited them to just 39.5 percent shooting from the field, including 30.9 percent (17-for-55) from behind the three-point arc. The 56 points surrendered to the Gauchos were the fewest points allowed by the Waves since posting a 96-58 victory over Santa Clara in 2002. During its last three games, Pepperdine has averaged 73.7 points a game and is out-scoring its opponents by 13.0 points a game.
ON THE MARK: Pepperdine established season-highs for three-point field goals made (12), attempted (17) and percentage (70.6) at Long Beach State last Tuesday...The Waves made nine three-pointers in the first half, one shy of the school record of 10 for one half, accomplished against Santa Clara (2-23-02) and North Carolina (1-3-89).
WAVES VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS: Saturday's game against Wisconsin marked the first of the season against a ranked opponent. The Waves were 0-3 against ranked opponents a year ago, falling to No. 25 Oklahoma State, 84-82, and twice losing to West Coast Conference (WCC) rival Gonzaga. Pepperdine's 75-71 victory over No. 17/20 Wisconsin was its first since the Waves defeated No. 13 Gonzaga, 88-79, at Firestone Fieldhouse on January 18, 2002.
PEPPERDINE HONORS: Junior guard Alex Acker was named the West Coast Conference's (WCC) "Player of the Week" for the week of November 29 for his performance during a pair of victories over No. 17/20 Wisconsin and Long Beach State. Acker nearly averaged a double-double with 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds to go along with 5.0 assists a game. He connected on 44.8 percent of his shots, including 55.6 percent from three-point range. He also converted on 11 of 12 free throw attempts. Acker scored five of his game-high 25 points in the closing minutes to help the Waves hold off Long Beach State Tuesday night. He also added a team-best nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. Against Wisconsin, Acker totaled 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in Pepperdine's upset win over the Badgers on Saturday...Senior forward Glen McGowan was named CollegeInsider.com's "Star of the Week" for his 29-point performance against nationally-ranked Wisconsin on Saturday. McGowan connected on 12-of-21 attempts from the field, including 4-of-8 from behind the three-point arc. His performance against the Badgers came on the heels of a 15-point, five-rebound showing at Long Beach State last Tuesday. In two games, McGowan averaged a team-best 22.0 points a contest while shooting 54.8 percent from the field and contributing four rebounds a contest.
WAVES INK THREE DURING EARLY SIGNING PERIOD: Head coach Paul Westphal and his staff signed three recruits during the recently-concluded early signing period. Willie Galick, Chris Oakes and Tomas Pranciliauskas will enroll at Pepperdine next fall. Galick is a 6-7, 230-pound forward from Nanaimo, British Columbia. He attended Cedar Community School where he averaged 33 points, 15 rebounds three assists and two steals as a junior. Galick was a AA "Most Valuable Player"/All-Star and was a three-time Team Island All-Star. Oakes (6-9, 195) was highly recruited prep out of Oakland's Castlemont High. He was ranked among Sout.com's Top 10 centers on the west coast, was named to the Long Beach Press Telegram's "Best In The West" and was a Nike All-American Camp participant. Oakes scored 30 points, 31 rebounds and nine blocked shots in one game as a junior. Pranciiauskas, a 6-4, 195-pound shooting guard from Vilnius, Lithuania, averaged 18.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists a contest as a junior at the Walsingham Academy in Virginia. Pranciiauskas was a first team Virginia Gazette All-star, first team All-TCIS and first team TCIS All-Tournament. Additionally, Pranciiauskas was a member of the Lithuania Junior National Team and a Nike All-American Camp participant.
PEPPERDINE AND THE WCC: Dating back to the 1997-98 season, Pepperdine has the West Coast Conference's (WCC) second-best record in league play. The Waves have compiled an overall record to date of 71-27 (.724), trailing only Gonzaga, which has posted an 85-13 (.867) record during the same time. Since 1998, Gonzaga and Pepperdine have either won or shared every WCC regular-season title. The Bulldogs claimed outright titles in 1998, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004, while the Waves captured the 2000 regular season crown. The two teams shared the title in 2002.
ALMOST GREAT: The 2003-04 season could be categorized as a season of what-ifs. The Waves posted an overall record of 15-16 but with a few breaks along the way could have had a 20-plus win season. Of Pepperdine's 16 losses, seven were decided by five points or less. The Waves lost seven games by a combined total of 25 points, an average of 3.57 points a game. Pepperdine suffered one two-point loss, two three-point setbacks, three four-point defeats and one five-point loss.
SURGING WAVES: In the last six-plus seasons, Pepperdine has compiled a cumulative record of 124-70 (.639) and advanced to post-season play four times. The Waves had their streak of post-season appearances snapped in 2003 and will look for a return in 2005. Pepperdine has averaged 19.67 wins a year dating back to the 1988-89 campaign.
2004-05 SCHEDULE: Head coach Paul Westphal has once again assembled a quality schedule in 2004-05 as Pepperdine will play non-conference home games against Wisconsin, UC Santa Barbara, UNLV and Colorado as well as road contests at UCLA and at Bradley. Three teams North Carolina State (19), Wisconsin (20) and Gonzaga (25) are ranked in either the ESPN / USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll or the Associated Press' preseason rankings. North Carolina State, Wisconsin and Gonzaga all advanced to the second of the last year's NCAA Tournament while Troy earned a National Invitation Tournament berth. Both North Carolina State is a possible Pepperdine opponent in the season-opening BCA Invitational in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Waves are scheduled to play in three tournaments beginning with the BCA Invitational where they will face East Carolina in a first-round game on Wednesday, November 17. Pepperdine will also play in the Office Depot Golden Bear Classic in Berkeley, California, December 22-23 and the Comcast Lobo Invitational, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 28-29. The Waves open their 14-game WCC schedule on Friday, January 7, when they host San Diego. The WCC Tournament will be at Santa Clara's Leavey Center. The four-day hoop extravaganza will be contested March 4-7, with the winner earning the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The third-year play-in format allows the top two seeds byes until the semifinal round.
Paul Westphal: Paul Westphal, the former head coach of the Phoenix Suns and the Seattle SuperSonics, is in the midst of his fourth season at Pepperdine and has compiled a mark of 58-39 (.598) in Malibu. He succeeded Jan van Breda Kolff who resigned as the Waves' head coach in April of 2001 to accept a similar position at St. Bonaventure. Westphal is the program's 11th head coach. Westphal brought more than 12 years of head coaching experience to Pepperdine, and including stints with Southwestern Baptist Bible College and Grand Canyon College, his current six-year collegiate record stands at 142-66 (.683). He directed the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in his rookie season back in 1993 and the Pacific Division title in 1993 and 1995. Including the playoffs, Westphal's overall NBA head coaching record stands at 294-181 (.619). A first round draft choice by the Boston Celtics in 1972, Westphal played 12 seasons in the NBA for Boston, Phoenix, New York and Seattle. He was a five-time NBA All-Star, named to the All-NBA team four times and a member of the 1974 Celtics teams that won the NBA title. A three-time All-Pacific 8 Conference performer and a two-time All-American at USC, Westphal averaged 16.4 points in three seasons with the Trojans and was inducted into USC's "Hall of Fame" in 1997.
THE PROGRAM: Beginning its 67th season of intercollegiate competition, the Pepperdine men's basketball program has compiled an overall record to date of 1066-801(.571). A total of 22 Pepperdine teams have posted 20-plus win campaigns, including three of the last five. The Waves have won 19 or more games nine times in the last 15 campaigns. Pepperdine made its 13th NCAA Tournament appearance in 2001-02, and the Waves have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) a total of eight times, including the Preseason NIT in 1985 and 2000. Since the start of the 1979-80 campaign, Pepperdine teams have compiled an overall record of 480-338 (.587), including a 244-108 (.693) mark in regular season West Coast Conference (WCC) play. Since the 1980-81 season, Pepperdine teams have either won or shared the WCC regular season title on 10 occasions-1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000 and 2002-and the program has won 12 basketball championships overall. Additionally, the Waves have captured the WCC Tournament championship three times-1991, 1992 and 1994.
WAVES AT HOME: Dating back to the start of the 1997-98 campaign, the Waves are 71-19 (.789) at home. Pepperdine's all-time homecourt record at Firestone Fieldhouse, dating back to the start of the 1973-74 campaign, currently stands at 309-108 (.741). The Waves are currently 3-0 in 2004-05.
WAVES ON THE ROAD: Pepperdine concluded the 2003-04 campaign with a 7-12 (.368) overall record after ending the year with a 79-74 neutral-court loss to Saint Mary's in the semi-finals of the West Coast Conference Tournament. The Waves are currently 3-1 on the road, including 2-1 in neutral court games.
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