Waves' Comeback Falls Just Short Against UCLA
Nov. 11, 2013
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The Pepperdine women's basketball team closed to within two points late against UCLA, but couldn't complete the comeback, falling 82-78 Monday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion. The Waves scored five straight points in the span of 11 seconds, but couldn't get UCLA's Thea Lemberger to miss a free throw down the stretch, falling by four.
"Defensively we were just standing up too much and we drew too many fouls," said head coach Ryan Weisenberg. "They're a very good free throw shooting team and that was the difference. We bailed them out a little bit."
Trailing by as much as 11 in the second half, Pepperdine stormed back to pull within five with 4:17 left to play. Sticking close into the final minute, Grace Leah Baugh (Norcross, Ga./Wesleyan School) knocked down a jumper and then after a Keitra Wallace (Brea, Calif./Brea Olinda HS) free throw and offensive rebound, Bria Richardson (Hawthorne, Calif./Serra HS) put home a jumper to make it a 78-75 game.
With the Waves fouling each time down the floor to extend the game, Lemberger was forced to win it on the line for UCLA, hitting 12 straight free throws to hold off Pepperdine. A Richardson three-point play made it 80-78 with 10 seconds to play, but Lemberger hit two more foul shots and the Waves couldn't find a final basket.
"We played a little scared in the first half, but once we woke up and realized we are just as good as they are we got more aggressive," said Weisenberg. "You just can't give a team like this a lead and we did. We got close to digging ourselves out, but just came up short."
Pepperdine outscored the Bruins 18-10 over the final 10 minutes of the first half following a slow start. UCLA held a 19-8 advantage in the free throw department, getting six more points off foul shots in the opening period.
An 11-4 run out of the half put Pepperdine down by double digits, however. The Bruins used 11 offensive rebounds early in the period to build the lead.
The Waves made a run earlier in the second half, cutting the UCLA lead to just four on a three-point play by Erica Chandler (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell HS/George Washington Univ.) and then 3-pointer from Ea Shoushtari (Los Angeles, Calif./L.A.C.E.S.) to make it 56-52. The Bruins answered with a three and two of their own, however, pushing the Waves back down by nine before the stretch run.
Richardson set a new career high for the second game in a row, putting up 25 points in the loss. The junior guard was 10-for-21 from the floor and hit 2-of-4 threes. Shoushtari added 11 points. Lemberger scored 25 as well for UCLA and Atonye Nyingifa scored 24.
Pepperdine outshot the Bruins 42.6-40.0 percent in the game, but gave up three more offensive boards.
The loss drops the Waves to 1-1 on the year while UCLA moves to 1-1 as well. Pepperdine will be back in action Thursday night for their home opener against UC Irvine at 7 p.m.