Behind Bell's Career Day the Waves Hang Tight But Fall 67-63 to Saint Mary's in WCC Tournament Quarterfinals
March 2, 2012
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - In a toe-to-toe battle that went down to the wire, the No. 5-seeded Pepperdine Waves fell 67-63 to the No. 4-seeded Saint Mary's Gaels on Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Basketball Championships.
Senior guard Lauren Bell (San Bruno, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep) carried the Waves in her final game, scoring a career-high 30 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field, 6-of-7 from the free throw line and a career-high 6-of 9 from behind the three-point arc. Her 30 points is a Pepperdine WCC tournament record, with the previous record being 29 points by Damaris Hinojosa (2000 vs. Gonzaga) and Rasheeda Clark (1999 vs. Portland). Bell is also the first Wave to score at least 30 points in a game since Daphanie Kennedy netted 31 against Santa Clara on Feb. 14, 2008.
The Waves (14-15) got off to a slow start, as the Gaels (21-9) pushed out to an early 8-0 lead. Bell answered for the Waves, with two free throws and a three-pointer. Senior forward Skye Barnett (Albuqerque, N.M./Cibola HS) followed with two free throws of her own and through stifling defense the Waves went on a 9-4 to get back into the game and at the 14:26 mark in the first half the score was 12-9 Gaels.
With 11:32 left in the half, the Waves cut the Gaels' lead down to one, 17-16 with 11:13 to go. The Gaels would answer, pushing their lead back to four, but the Waves stayed the course, and capped a 9-4 run to tie things up, 20-20 with 7:39 left in the half.
That spark would push the Waves on a 6-0 run through the 5:53 mark to give the team their biggest lead of the day, 26-20. Four of the six points on that run came from senior guard Katie Menton (Coarsegold, Calif./Yosemite HS), who finished with 14 points.
The Gaels would make a quick comeback, however, and through the final four minutes of the game the Waves and Gaels would trade baskets and going into the half the Waves led, 33-32.
Bell had 18 points and three of her six three-pointers in the first half. In the second half the Waves and Gaels went toe-to-toe, with no team having a lead larger than three points until the final seven seconds. The score was also deadlocked seven times in the half.
The Waves got into early foul trouble in the second half, putting the Gaels in the double bonus early. The team battled back, though, time after time matching the Gaels and keeping the score close.
With 50 seconds to go in the game the Waves were only down one and after one made free throw by Saint Mary's at the 31 second mark, the Waves had a chance to tie or take the lead on the next possession. Senior guard Jazmine Jackson (Oakland, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep), the leading scorer for the Waves all season took the ball and drove, putting up a tough layup that just missed falling. The Gaels would close out the game with two free throws with seven seconds left and the Waves were unable to come back.
In their final game as Waves, Bell had a career-high 30 points, Jackson finished with six points, four rebounds and five assists. Barnett added a team-high nine rebounds and six points. Menton had 14 points and a team-high three steals.