Shandrika Lee's 28 Points Clinches Championship For Waves
MIAMI -- Tournament MVP Shandrika Lee scored a season-high 28 points on 11-of-23 shooting from the floor and knocked down five 3-pointers to lead Pepperdine to a 70-49 victory over Albany in the Sun and Fun/Herald Classic championship game on Monday, December 29 at the Golden Panther Arena.
"It didn't take long for Shandrika (Lee) to get back to her old ways," said head coach Mark Trakh. "It was tough for her to sit out last season after tearing her ACL and it's nice to see that her shots are starting to fall. Words cannot tell how important she is to our team...she played a tremendous game tonight."
Pepperdine (5-6) trailed 28-22 at halftime but opened the second half with a 6-0 run to pull within, 30-28, on Lee's conventional three-point play. The Waves took their first lead of the contest on Lee's 3-pointer at the top of the key to make it 35-34 with 14:03 left in the second period.
Pepperdine, who shot 52.6 percent in the second half, took control of the contest and never looked back as they built on their lead as they scored 15 unanswered points with four minutes remaining. Junior Shannon Mayberry, who scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half, tallied four points in that span, while Lee added eight with six points coming from long range.
Albany (3-6), who held a 43-41 rebounding advantage, closed out the first half on a 5-0 spurt on junior Maree Jones' layup with 40 seconds left to carry the lead into halftime.
The Great Danes held their largest lead of eight with 11:07 remaining in the first period as Jones, who tallied nine points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds, knocked down a 3-pointer at the top of the key to make it 19-11.
"This was a great tournament for our squad," commented Trakh. "We've played a very tough schedule this season and I'm happy for our girls to finally come home with a championship trophy. We hope to build on this momentum as we prepare to start conference in the next couple weeks."
The Waves will be back in action on Jan. 2 when they take on Portland State at home. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Sophomore Becky Ayres led Albany in scoring with a career-high 24 points for Albany as she was perfect from the charity stripe knocking down all ten attempts. Junior Danielle Hutcheson, who was named to the all-tournament team, added six points with nine rebounds.
For her outstanding efforts, Mayberry joined Lee on the all-tournament team to be the fifth different Waves' player to earn the honor at some point this season.