(Malibu, Ca) The two schools are less than 25 miles away and the rivalry is strong.
The Pepperdine men’s basketball team played its best defensive game of the season and continued its dominance in Firestone Fieldhouse over PCH Cup rival Loyola Marymount as the Waves opened up West Coast Conference play with an impressive 77-62 win on Thursday night.
The Waves (8-7, 1-0) beat the Lions (12-3, 0-1) for the 20th time in the last 21 years in Malibu. They did it by tying their season low for points allowed and holding LMU to 38.6% shooting, the team’s best effort against a Division I team this season. Five Waves scored in double-figures.
- Sophomore guard Colbey Ross (Aurora, Colo./Eaglecrest HS) collected his second consecutive double-double with 14 points and 12 assists. He’s the first Wave to notch back-to-back 10+ assist games since Tezale Archie in March 2000. He’s the first Wave to have back-to-back double-doubles of any kind since Chris Reyes in February 2017. Ross went 11-for-12 from the foul line.
- Sophomore guard Jade’ Smith (Oakland, Calif./St. Joseph Notre Dame HS) had 15 points and eight rebounds and sank three three-pointers.
- Senior guard Eric Cooper Jr. (Ontario, Calif./St. Anthony HS/Nevada) matched Smith with a team-high 15 points. He made four of six three-pointers.
- Junior forward Kameron Edwards (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda HS) had 13 points and eight rebounds.
- Senior forward Darnell Dunn (Kinston, N.C./Kinston HS/Miami Dade JC) had 11 points and four assists.
- The Waves led for a total of 34:55 while the Lions were in front for only 1:27, which came early in the second half.
- Pepperdine shot 46.0% from the field.
- The Waves went 11-for-25 (44.0%) on three-pointers against what was one of the best three-point defenses in the country. The Lions went 4-for-18 (22.2%) from deep.
- Pepperdine forced 18 turnovers while committing just 12.
- LMU had four players score in double-figures, led by Eli Scott’s 18.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Waves scored the first seven points of the game. With an 11-8 lead, Pepperdine went on a 10-3 run to take its first double-digit lead at 21-11 with less than eight minutes to play in the half. The Waves went into the break with a 31-27 lead.
The Lions went up briefly at the start of the second half, but by no more than two points. The Waves trailed 38-36 when they went on a 13-0 run, going back in front 49-38 with 10 minutes left. Smith had five of the points during the run.
LMU got no closer than eight the rest of the way at 52-44, and a 9-0 Pepperdine run pushed the advantage up to 17 at 61-44 with six minutes left. The Waves’ biggest lead was 18 points at 64-46.
- Pepperdine now leads LMU 101-68 in the all-time series.
- The Waves claimed another point in the PCH Cup standings and now leads the series 5.5 to 2.0 in 2018-19. Pepperdine has won seven of the nine PCH Cup competitions.
- LMU entered the game as the WCC’s leader in scoring defense at 59.2 points per game.
Pepperdine Coach Lorenzo Romar said: “We were really concerned because LMU is a tremendous team. I thought our guys maintained a high level of focus defensively and that was the difference in the game. We locked in and tried our best to make it difficult for them to get great looks.”
Pepperdine continues WCC play at home against San Francisco on Saturday (Jan. 5) at 5 p.m. The game will be shown on TheW.tv, while Al Epstein will have the call on WaveCasts.
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