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Pepperdine Hosts Cal State Fullerton Saturday Night in Opener of Three-Game Homestand


Dec. 8, 2006

Malibu, Calif. -

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A LOOK AT THE WAVES: The Pepperdine men's basketball team returns home to open a three-game homestand on Saturday when it welcomes Cal State Fullerton to Firestone Fieldhouse. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The game marks the fifth against a Big West Conference opponent this season and the Waves will be seeking their first win against the league. Pepperdine has already played UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine and Long Beach State.

The Waves enter Saturday's contest against the Titans with a 2-7 record following a 95-90 loss at Long Beach State Thursday night. Senior guard Marvin Lea led Pepperdine with a career-high 34 points.

Pepperdine's three-game homestand also will include contests against Cal State Bakersfield (December 14) and Northern Arizona (December 16).

The Waves are making their first appearance at Firestone Fieldhouse since November 21 when they lost in double overtime to UC Santa Barbara. Pepperdine opened the season with eight of its first nine games on the road and is in the midst of playing 11 of 16 non-conference away from Malibu.

MEDIA COVERAGE: The Pepperdine-Cal State Fullerton game can be heard live on the Internet at

Every men's basketball game throughout the 2006-07 season can be heard live on the Internet at with veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein calling the action.

WALBERG ERA BEGINS: The 2006-07 season marks the beginning of the Vance Walberg Era. Walberg takes over as Pepperdine's 12th head coach after being hired on April 19 following four highly successful seasons at Fresno City College. During his tenure there, Walberg guided the Rams to a 133-11 (.924) record and won the California State Junior College Championship in 2005 after posting a 34-0 record. In 26 seasons as a junior college and high school coach, Walberg has compiled an overall record of 614-170 (.783).

LONG BEACH STATE RECAP: Sterling Byrd scored a career-high 26 points and Aaron Nixon added 21 to lead Long Beach State to a 95-90 victory over Pepperdine Thursday night at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach. The 49ers' win overshadowed a career night by Waves senior guard Marvin Lea, who scored a personal best 34 points. Lea scored 24 points in the second half and helped Pepperdine cut an 18-point deficit with four minutes remaining to five points with 11 seconds remaining when he made a pair of free throws. However, Long Beach State was able to withstand the Waves' 20-7 run over the final four minutes to register the victory. Lea connected on 11 of 18 field goal attempts, including six of eight from behind the arc, and was six of six from the free throw line. Pepperdine also received 16 points from senior guard Chase Griffin, 11 from junior guard Kingsley Costain and a career-high 10 points from freshman forward Blake Wallace.

ABOUT CAL STATE FULLERTON: Cal State Fullerton begins play on Saturday with a 5-2 record after falling 78-54 to top-ranked UCLA on Tuesday. The Titans are averaging 84.9 points a game while allowing 75.4 points a contest. Cal State Fullerton has six players scoring in double figures and is led by junior forward Scott Cutley who is averaging 18.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. Head coach Bob Burton is in the midst of his fourth season leading the Titans and has compiled an overall record to date of 53-43 (.552).

SERIES VERSUS CAL STATE FULLERTON: Saturday's game between Pepperdine and Cal State Fullerton marks the 21st meeting between the two programs and the Waves lead the all-time series, 11-9. Cal State Fullerton has captured the last two meetings, including a 76-66 victory last season at Titan Gym.

NEXT OPPONENT: Pepperdine continues it four-game homestand on December 14 when it hosts Cal State Bakersfield at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Roadrunners are currently 2-4 on the season and will play at Saint Mary's December 9 before visiting Malibu.

INJURY REPORT: Senior guard Jason Walberg is lost for the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury during practice on November 24. Walberg played in five games and averaged 14.0 points and 2.4 rebounds a contest.

LEA POSTS CAREER NIGHT: Senior guard Marvin Lea turned in a career night Thursday against Long Beach State as he scored a career-high 34 points. The senior guard also contributed four rebounds, three assists and two steals in Pepperdine's 95-90 loss to the 49ers. Lea's 34-point output was the most by a Waves player since Tashaan Forehan-Kelly scored 35 against Loyola Marymount last January. It also marked the most points scored by West Coast Conference (WCC) player this season, eclipsing the previous mark of 32 scored by Loyola Marymount's Brandon Worthy against Pacific on November 24.

RAINING THREE'S: Pepperdine leas the West Coast Conference (WCC) in three-point field goal attempts with 271. San Francisco is second with 186 attempts. The Waves already have set new marks for three-point field goal attempts in a game. One night after taking a school-record 36 three-point field goal attempts against Northern Iowa on November 13, Pepperdine broke that mark with 43 against Nicholls State on November 14. The Waves also made a program-best 21 three-pointers against Nicholls State to eclipse the previous mark of 17 set against Santa Clara on February 23, 2002. Pepperdine also set a new mark for most three-point field goals in one half with 12. The Waves' 21 three-pointers also tie for the second-most in West Coast Conference history. Gonzaga made 22 from behind the arc against San Francisco in 1995 to hold the WCC mark. The Waves are tied with Loyola Marymount, which made 21 against Michigan in the 1990 NCAA Tournament.

WAVES ENTER NCAA RECORD BOOKS: Pepperdine's school-record 21 three-point field goals against Nicholls State on November 14 tie for the sixth-highest total in NCAA History. Troy holds the record of three-point field goals made when it totaled 28 (28 of 74) against George Mason on Dec. 10, 1994. A team has made at least 21 three-point field goals in a game a total of 21 times.

HENRY NEARING CAREER TOP 10 FOR BLOCKS: Junior center Jarrad Henry, who has totaled 12 blocked shots in his last four games, is nearing Pepperdine's Top 10 for career blocked shots. Through nine games this year, Henry has recorded 21 blocked shots to bring his career total to 67. He is 13 blocked shots shy of tying Kelvin Gibbs (1997-2001) and Gavin Van Der Putten (1992-96) for 10th place all-time. Henry has averaged 1.1 blocked shots a game for his career and currently ties for seventh on the program's career blocked shots per game list.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: Despite a 2-7 record, Pepperdine has been competitive in eight of its nine games and has out-performed its competition in the second half. After being outscored 361-289 in the first half, Pepperdine has a 422-388 scoring advantage in the second half. The Waves have outscored their opponents during the second half in five of their nine games.

CLOSE GAMES: In Pepperdine's seven losses, five have been decided by nine points or less. The Waves' average margin of defeat in their losses is 9.7 points a game and, excluding Northern Iowa (83-58) and Oklahoma State (90-74), Pepperdine has lost five games by an average of 5.4 points a contest.

PEPPERDINE WCC'S TOP SCORING TEAM: Following its 90-point output at Long Beach State, Pepperdine became the West Coast Conference's (WCC) top-scoring team, averaging 80.8 points a contest. Gonzaga is average 80.0 points to rank second.

FORCING TURNOVERS: Pepperdine, which has forced a West Coast Conference (WCC)-high 201 turnovers, is forcing 23.3 turnovers a game to lead the WCC and has a league-best turnover margin of +5.44.

LEA RANKS SECOND IN WCC IN SCORING: Senior guard Marvin Lea ranks second in the West Coast Conference (WCC) in scoring as he is averaging 19.2 points a game. Lea, who has prospered in head coach Vance Walberg's system, entered his senior season with a career scoring average of 3.3 points a game.

COSTAIN WCC'S TOP 3-POINT MARKSMAN: Junior guard Kingsley Costain has been the West Coast Conference's (WCC) top three-point shooter. He is connecting on 51,1 percent of his shots from behind the arc and is second in three-pointers per game with 2.67.

FORMER WAVE Yakhouba Diawara MAKES DENVER ROSTER: Former Pepperdine men's basketball player Yakhouba Diawara, who played for the Waves from 2003 to 2005, became an official member of the Denver Nuggets' when the team's 15-man roster was announced on Tuesday. During his two seasons at Pepperdine, Diawara appeared in 45 games, starting 40, and averaged 15.5 points and 6.0 rebounds a game. He had an- outstanding junior campaign as he played in 14 games and averaged 18.9 points and 6.6 rebounds a contest en route to earning All-West Coast Conference (WCC) honors. A native of Paris, France, Diawara played in eight preseason games for the Nuggets and averaged 6.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists a contest while averaging 24 minutes a contest. Diawara made his NBA debut November 2 and scored his first career points against Minnesota on November 3.

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 78-47 (.624), trailing only Gonzaga, which has posted a 113-16 (.876) 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, 2004, 2005 and 2006, while the Waves captured the 2000 regular season crown. The two teams shared the title in 2002.

Vance Walberg: Vance Walberg, the former head coach of Fresno City College, became the 12th head coach in Pepperdine history when he was named to succeed Paul Westphal on April 18. He made his Pepperdine coaching debut on November 12 at Washington and the Waves suffered a 99-91 to the Huskies. He is currently 2-7 (.222) at Pepperdine. During his four seasons as head coach at Fresno City College, Walberg compiled a 133-11 (.924) record, including a perfect 34-0 mark and the California State Championship in 2005. In addition to posting an undefeated season and winning the 2005 state championship, Walberg's Fresno City College teams won four straight Central Valley Conference (CVC) titles, made four consecutive trips to the Northern California Playoffs, advanced to the Final Four of the California State Championships three times and appeared in the state title game in 2003 and 2005. His teams were noted for an up-tempo style of play and during his four years in Fresno, the Rams averaged 103.5 points a contest, 107.6 points during the 2003-04 season. Walberg was twice named California Junior College Coach of the Year (2003, 2005) and was tabbed the CVC Coach of the Year four times (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006). Prior to taking over at Fresno City College, Walberg spent 22 years as a high school coach and compiled an impressive 481-159 (.751) record. His greatest success came at Clovis West High in Fresno, California, where he produced a 343-68 (.834) record in 13 seasons, winning 11 league titles and finishing second on two other occasions. Walberg earned league Coach of the Year honors nine times, Section Coach of the Year on six occasions and was tabbed the California and West Region (Section 7) Coach of the Year in 1999. In 2001, he was selected the Cal-Hi State Coach of the Year. In 26 seasons as a head coach, Walberg has a career record of 614-170 (.783). A 1978 graduate of Cal State Bakersfield, Walberg was twice named the Defensive Player of the Year and served as team captain his senior year. In two seasons at De Anza Community College, he won a conference championship and concluded his career as the school's all-time steals leader. Walberg, a 1974 graduate of Monta Vista High in Cupertino, California, was a two-year varsity letterwinner during which he was named Co-Most Valuable Player and team MVP. He helped the Matadors to a league championship.

THE PROGRAM: In the midst of its 69th season of intercollegiate competition, the Pepperdine men's basketball program has compiled an overall record to date of 1086-841 (.563). A total of 22 Pepperdine teams have posted 20-plus win campaigns. The Waves have won 19 or more games eight 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 499-377 (.570), including a 253-127 (.666) 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 83-29 (.741) at home. Pepperdine's all-time homecourt record at Firestone Fieldhouse, dating back to the start of the 1973-74 campaign, currently stands at 321-118 (.731). Pepperdine concluded 2005-06 with a 6-6 home record. The Waves are 0-1 at home this season.

WAVES ON THE ROAD: Pepperdine concluded the 2005-06 campaign with a 1-14 road record. Since the 1995-96 season, the Waves are 87-116 (.428), including a 26-26 mark (.500) in neutral court contests. Pepperdine is 2-6 on the road, including 1-1 in neutral court games, during the 2006-07 season.

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