Pepperdine Upends Saint Mary's 80-67 on Senior Day
March 2, 2013
MALIBU, Calif. – Pepperdine turned in perhaps its best effort of the season and rolled past Saint Mary’s 80-67 in the 2012-13 regular season finale for both teams Saturday afternoon at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Waves (5-22, 2-14 WCC) snap a 13-game losing streak and beat the Gaels (19-9, 11-5 WCC) for the first time since 2011.
Pepperdine will square off against No. 8 seed San Francisco Wednesday, March 6 in the play-in game of the 2013 West Coast Conference Championships. Tip off against the Dons is set for 3:00 p.m. at Orleans Arena. The Waves split the regular season series against USF, taking a 71-67 home triumph Jan. 10 and dropped a 67-57 decision Thursday at War Memorial Gym.
Ea Shoushtari (Los Angeles, Calif./L.A.C.E.S.) scored a career-high 19 points to go along with a career-high five steals to help send the senior class out victorious. The day belonged to Shay Cooney-Williams (Frisco, Texas/Frisco HS) and Kelsey Patrick (Mukilteo, Wash./Kamiak HS). Both scored 16 points with four rebounds. Cooney-Williams added four assists and a steal, while Patrick added a pair of blocks for Pepperdine in their final collegiate game in Malibu.
“All thanks be to God,” Pepperdine head coach Julie Rousseau said. “I thank him for this victory. What this shows is the love that our team has for each other. They knew this was their seniors’ last game here at Firestone and they wanted to honor them. Today is a testament to Shay and Kelsey. We have been through so much this year. This is a blessed day in many ways. I hope and pray that this is good momentum going into the WCC Tournament.”
Pepperdine never trailed in the contest and the score was tied only once at 14-14. It was all Waves from there. Pepperdine took a 39-30 lead at the intermission and started the second half with a flourish, going on a 14-0 run to start the second half and held the Gaels scoreless for the first 5:10 of the second half. Bria Richardson (Hawthorne, Calif./Serra HS) did a bit of everything for the Waves, scoring nine points with four rebounds, two assists and a steal in a game-high 35 minutes.
Pepperdine led by as many as 23 off a 3-pointer at the 14:50 mark by Grace Leah Baughn (Norcross, Ga./Wesleyan School), who finished with a career-high 16 points on three 3-pointers and a 7-of-7 day at the free throw line. Saint Mary’s made a final push and cut the lead to nine, with 1:53 left, but the Waves executed down the stretch and made their foul shots.
For the game the Waves shot .359 (23-64) from the field, but knocked down .400 (10-25) from 3-point range, led by four from Patrick. Saint Mary’s connected at a .429 (21-49) clip, but made just one of 11 3-point attempts (.091). Pepperdine forced 26 turnovers and scored 25 points off Gael miscues.
Danielle Mauldin scored a game-high 29 points, going 9-of-16 from the floor and made all 11 of her free throw attempts to go along with a game-high 13 rebounds. Mia Greco chipped in 17 points for Saint Mary’s.
WCC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEEDS: (1) Gonzaga, (2) San Diego, (3) Saint Mary's, (4) BYU, (5) Loyola Marymount, (6) Santa Clara, (7) Portland, (8) San Francisco, (9) Pepperdine