Waves Host WCC Matchups Against Portland, Gonzaga This Week
Jan. 22, 2014
THIS WEEK FOR THE WAVES: The Pepperdine women's basketball team opens a two game homestand this week after a pair of road contests last week, facing Portland Thursday (7 p.m.) and No. 22 Gonzaga Saturday (2 p.m.).
COVERAGE: Live video of each game will be available for free on WaveCasts with Josh Perigo on the call. Live stats for both games will be available on pepperdinesports.com prior to the start of each contest.
FOLLOW AND LIKE WAVES WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Be sure and join Pepperdine's growing communities on Facebook and Twitter. Follow and like the Waves today. Facebook: Pepperdine W Bball / Twitter: @PEPPWBKB
HOOPS EXTRA: Pepperdine is providing more insider content to its fans this season via the Hoops Extra basketball blog, which can be accessed at www.pepperdinesports.com/hoopsextra.
MOBILE APP: Pepperdine Athletics has launched a mobile app for iPad, iPhone and Android users. The app is free to download and features live scoring updates, news stories, on-demand video, photo galleries and much more. A subscription platform is also available to watch live video of home games. Go to your app store and search for "Pepperdine Athletics."
PROMOS: The first 100 students in attendance at Thursday's game will receive a free rally towel. Following Saturday's game Pepperdine Athletics will host the Willie the Wave Postgame Carnival, with carnival games, face painting and more available. The women's basketball team will also be signing autographs.
HOW THEY MATCH UP: Thursday will be the 57th meeting between the Waves and Portland, with Pepperdine holding a 34-22 lead in the all-time series. The Pilots won the last meeting between the squads, 73-34, near the end of last season. Portland has won three straight in the series. Saturday's game will be the 60th meeting between Pepperdine and Gonzaga, with the Bulldogs holding a 30-29 lead. Gonzaga defeated the Waves 81-52 last time the two teams met. The Bulldogs have won nine straight.
THE OPPOSITION AT A GLANCE: Portland comes into play off a win over San Francisco last time out, defeating the Dons on the road 82-72. Prior to that, the Pilots had lost four of their last five. Gonzaga, currently sits ranked No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, with just three losses on the year. Two of the Bulldogs' three losses came outside of conference play, to Oklahoma and No. 4 Stanford. Gonzaga's lone WCC loss was in an overtime game at Saint Mary's.
SCOUTING JANUARY: The Waves play five home conference games in the month of January. Just two of the seven games Pepperdine plays this month will be on the road, as they head to Saint Mary's (Jan. 16) and Pacific (Jan. 18). With three home contests already in the books, Portland (Jan. 23) and Gonzaga (Jan. 25) close out the month.
ON THE UPSWING: With just over half of the season in the books, the Waves' five wins so far this year already equals the team's total from all of last season. The 2012-13 Waves got their fifth win in the final regular season game, March 2 against Saint Mary's. Pepperdine's win over Santa Clara was the team's fifth this year and came on Jan. 2.
WALKING WOUNDED: The Waves will possibly be down to six available players for part or all of this week after being struck as of late by the injury bug. Both Keitra Wallace and Allie Green (the second and third leading scorers on the team) came into last week on the injured list and are still listed as day-to-day for the Waves' two games this week. In Pepperdine's first game of last week's road trip at Saint Mary's, the team's leading scorer, Bria Richardson, went down with an injury and did not return for either game. Richardson is also day to day and unlikely to return this week. Compounding the problem, one of the seven remaining players on the court for the Waves, Amanda Lovely, suffered an injury near the end of the team's game against Pacific and is also listed as day-to-day this week. The four injured players listed are responsible for a combined 48.5 points per game.
X-FACTOR: Ea Shoushtari has been a key contributor in the team's five wins, averaging 14.8 ppg in the victories as opposed to just 9.6 ppg in losses. Through non-conference play, Shoushtari posted eight double-digit scoring games, including a career best 21 point, 13 rebound and six assist night in the Waves' 17 point win over UC Irvine. Since the open of WCC play the junior guard has eclipsed the 10 point mark twice; a 12 point, nine rebound effort in Pepperdine's lone conference win over Santa Clara and an 18 point game against Pacific last week. Despite missing their top three scorers and being down to seven available players against Pacific, the Waves nearly came away with the win, leading late into the second half before falling 75-64.
STEPPING UP: With a very short playing rotation last week, the Waves got good production out of two of its role players; Grace Leah Baughn and Alisha Roberts. Both players typically come off the bench and average 11.3 and 8.8 minutes per game respectively. In two starts last week Baughn was the team's leading scorer, averaging 13.0 points per game in 31.5 minutes per game. The junior guard shot 58 percent (10-of-17) from the floor and hit 5-of-7 threes. Roberts put up 9.5 points per game in 24.0 minutes per contest, hitting 4-of-5 3-pointers. The two players had a combined 13 field goals and five 3-pointers coming into play last week.
WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bria Richardson became the first Wave to take home WCC Player of the Week honors since Lauren Bell on 2/6/12, when she took home the weekly honor on Jan. 6. Richardson put up not only the second best single game point total in Pepperdine history when she scored 44 against Santa Clara, but the second best total in WCC history as well. Her 44-point night was just two short of the Pepperdine record of 46, set by Fannie Allen back in 1980, and one short of the WCC record of 45, set by Martha Sheldon in 1992. It was the first 40-point night by a WCC student-athlete since San Diego's Michelle Augustovo scored 42 against Clemson (12/11/05) and only the fifth overall. In three games last week the junior guard averaged 20.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.0 steals and 3.0 assists per game.
WCC NOTES: The Waves' 35.7 percent shooting from 3-point territory is good for third in the WCC. The team's assist/turnover ratio (0.85) is also top 5 in the WCC. Pepperdine is fourth in 3-point field goal defense with opponents shooting 29.9 percent from deep. Bria Richardson is third in the conference and 35th in the nation with 2.65 steals per game. Ea Shoushtari is third with 2.11 3-pointers made per game and her 33.3 3-point percentage is also fifth. Ricahrdson's 16.9 points per game is fifth in the WCC. Richardson is shooting 44.2 percent from the floor and Allie Green is shooting 41.2 percent, good for seventh and 10th in the conference.
2013-14 ROSTER: This year's roster does not feature a single senior. There are five juniors, six sophomores (two of whom will have to sit out due to transfer rules) and a pair of freshmen in the fold for the 2013-14 season.
Ryan Weisenberg ERA: The start of the 2013-14 season marks the opening of the Ryan Weisenberg era at Pepperdine. Weisenberg has made stops on the professional, collegiate and prep level during his coaching tenure, most recently coaching the Manawatu Jets in the New Zealand National Basketball League. Weisenberg has also spent time on the staffs of the Los Angeles Lakers and Sparks, winning a total of five titles with the teams from 2000-05. He is the sixth coach in program history.
CAMPUS LIFE PROJECT: In May 2011, Pepperdine launched The Campaign for Pepperdine, the largest fundraising campaign in the University's history. The goal is to raise $450 million to support the Campus Life Project, which will benefit the entire campus. The key piece for Athletics is a new, state-of-the-art, 5,000-seat University Events Center, which will replace Firestone Fieldhouse as the Waves' home. The project has been approved by the County of Los Angeles and the California Coastal Commission, so the biggest step remaining before the arena can be built is fundraising.
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