FULLERTON, Calif. Â A strong second half propelled the Pepperdine women’s basketball team to a 58-40 win over Cal State Fullerton Friday evening.
“We need to keep working on our slow starts,” said head coach Julie Rousseau. “Everyone stepped up in the second half and got into a rhythm. Our defense played a major role in our success tonight.
Miranda Ayim (London, Ontario, Canada) notched her third double-double this season with 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Waves (4-4). Skye Barnett (Albuquerque, N.M./ Cibola HS) recorded 10 points and 5 rebounds. The Waves shot 53.6% to the Titans 19.2% in the second half. Pepperdine shot 81.8% on free throws for the game and recorded 14 steals to Fullerton’s six.
“After a week of not playing it was great to get out there and release some stress after finals,” said Ayim. “We don’t want to be a second half team, but that’s when things really started clicking for us.”
The Titans jumped out to an early lead at 9-5 with 15:15 on the clock. Fullerton was up by eight with 12:05 on the clock while the Waves continued to chip away at the lead. With 8:45 on the clock Jessica Ross (Gilroy, Calif./Notre Dame HS) made a shot in the paint to bring the Waves within 3 points at 15-12. Nakeya Isabell (Seattle, Wash./ College of Southern Idaho) followed with a 3-pointer to tie the score at 15-15 with 6:51 left in the first period.
Fullerton and Pepperdine traded baskets for the next three minutes with Ayim adding two layups to hold the tie at 23-23 with 1:14 left. The Waves took advantage of 17 Titan turnovers in the first half. A free throw by the Titan’s Megan Richardson followed by two free throws by Barnett ended the half with the Waves down by one at 26-25.
At 16:53 in the second half Lauren Bell’s (San Bruno, Calif./Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep) layup gave the Waves their first lead since two minutes into the first half at 29-27. Ayim followed with a steal and a basket to lead Pepperdine on a 26-3 scoring run with Barnett recording three layups and two free throws. With just under over two minutes left in the game Pepperdine had a 24 point lead at 58-34.
A 6-0 scoring run by the Titans in the final minute of the game wasn’t enough to close in on Pepperdine’s lead. The buzzer sounded with Pepperdine up by 18 points.
Sunday (Dec. 14), the Waves meet UCSB at 2 p.m., at Firestone Fieldhouse.