(Malibu, Ca) Kessler Edwards scored 19 points, Colbey Ross flirted with a triple-double and the Pepperdine men’s basketball team led wire-to-wire in handing Abilene Christian its first loss of the season, 77-62, on Saturday evening in Firestone Fieldhouse.
After seven games, the Waves (5-2) are just one win shy of last season’s victory total. Abilene Christian (7-1) came into the game as one of 13 teams left in the nation unbeaten. But the Waves got off to a hot start, led 42-31 at halftime and maintained its lead throughout the second half.
- Freshman forward Kessler Edwards (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda HS) made five three-pointers, four in the first half, en route to a season-high 19 points.
- Sophomore guard Colbey Ross (Aurora, Colo./Eaglecrest HS) had 15 points, a career-high nine rebounds and eight assists.
- Sophomore guard Jade’ Smith (Oakland, Calif./St. Joseph Notre Dame HS) had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.
- Senior guard Eric Cooper Jr. (Ontario, Calif./St. Anthony HS/Nevada) scored 13 points.
- Freshman center Victor Ohia Obioha (Owerri, Nigeria/Hillcrest HS) scored a season-high 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting.
- Pepperdine shot 57.1% in the first half and finished at 47.8% for the game. The Waves held ACU to 38.7% in the first half, and 40.3% overall.
- The Waves went 25-for-30 from the free throw line compared to 8-for-13 by the Wildcats.
- Pepperdine committed more turnovers than the opponent for the first time this season, 15 to 11.
- Abilene Christian had three players score in double-figures, led by Jaren Lewis’ 15 points.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Waves hit six of their first seven shots to jump out to an 18-10 lead, and it then grew to 23-10 as Pepperdine held ACU scoreless for four minutes. Edwards’ third three-pointer of the first half gave the Waves their biggest lead of the contest at 33-17. His fourth three-pointer sent Pepperdine into the break with a 42-31 advantage.
Abilene Christian kept the game in single-digits for the first 10 minutes of the second half, and for much of the first 15 minutes. The Wildcats got the deficit down to as few as three points at 44-41. At 64-56, Ohia Obioha scored the next four points and the Waves kept the margin in double-figures the rest of the way.
- The Waves are 5-2 after seven games for the first time since 2014-15.
- Junior forward Kameron Edwards (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda HS) who came into the game as the Waves’ second-leading scorer, missed his third game in a row and his fourth of the season due to injury.
- Pepperdine and Abilene Christian are sister schools in the Churches of Christ. This was the first meeting since the mid-1980s. The Waves now lead the all-time series 2-1.
- In an on-court presentation, Abilene Christian’s president made a donation on behalf of the school to Pepperdine’s student recovery fund for the Woolsey Fire and Borderline shooting.
Pepperdine finishes up a three-game homestand on Monday (Dec. 3) against CSUN at 7 p.m. In the wake of the Woolsey Fire, this will be “First Responders Appreciation Night” and first responders and their families will be given free tickets and food. The game will be shown on TheW.tv with Al Epstein on the call.
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