MALIBU, California – Colbey Ross set a pair of school records and recorded 23 points and 10 assists as the Pepperdine men’s basketball team held off Portland, 86-80, in West Coast Conference play on Saturday night.
Ross, just a sophomore, established records for both assists and free throws made in a season.
The Waves (13-16, 6-9) swept the season series from the Pilots (7-22, 0-14) for the first time since 2013 and kept alive their hopes for a top-six finish and a bye into the second round of the upcoming WCC Tournament. It was a close game throughout as neither side ever went up by double-digits.
- Sophomore guard Colbey Ross (Aurora, Colo./Eaglecrest HS) notched his eighth double-double of the season with his performance. It was his 14th time scoring 20+ points and his ninth with double-digit assists. He went 14-for-16 from the foul line and also had two steals and two blocks. He now has season totals of 215 assists and 204 free throws.
- Senior forward Darnell Dunn (Kinston, N.C./Kinston HS/Miami Dade JC) tied career highs of 18 points and four three-pointers made. He also had three assists.
- Freshman forward Kessler Edwards (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda HS) got his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while adding two steals.
- Sophomore guard Jade’ Smith (Oakland, Calif./St. Joseph Notre Dame HS) contributed 11 points and two steals.
- Freshman guard Darryl Polk Jr. (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS) scored a season-high 11 points, sinking both of his three-point attempts and going 5-for-6 from the line.
- Pepperdine won the game at the foul line, posting season highs of 29 makes on 35 attempts. Portland went 19-for-23.
- The Waves were significantly outshot from the field, 53.2% to 46.9%. Both teams finished with 11 three-pointers made.
- The Waves had a 30-22 rebounding edge and grabbed 11 offensive rebounds.
- Portland’s Josh McSwiggan hit his first six three-point attempts and finished with a team-high 20 points, among three Pilots in double-figures.
PLAY BY PLAY
There were 15 lead changes in the first half alone. The largest lead for either team in the first half came when Pepperdine scored the first six points of the game. The Waves led 33-31 late in the half but the Pilots scored the next seven points to go ahead 38-33, and eventually 38-35 at the break.
There were a few more lead changes early in the second half. Pepperdine went on an 8-0 run to take a 46-41 lead, but Portland reclaimed the lead and it was 56-53 Pilots with 11 1/2 minutes left.
The Waves scored the next nine points, all at the free throw line – the first five by Ross and the next four by Smith – to take a six-point lead at 62-56 with 9 1/2 minutes to go. Pepperdine wouldn’t trail again, but Portland wouldn’t go away easily either.
Pepperdine led by nine points on several occasions, first at 72-63 after three-pointers by Polk Jr. and Edwards, and again at 77-68, 79-70 and 81-72, the last with a minute left. Portland got the deficit down to four points before the Waves hit some free throws and ran out the clock.
- Junior forward Kameron Edwards (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda HS), the team’s second-leading scorer and top rebounder, missed his 14th game of the season. He injured his left foot at the end of the February 9 San Diego game and is out indefinitely.
- The previous single-season assist record of 208 was set by Tezale Archie in 1999-00. The previous single-season free throw record of 198 makes was set by Steve Ebey in 1967-68.
- Ross now has 394 career assists – just one behind the legendary Doug Christie for fifth place on the Waves’ all-time list.
The Waves close out the regular at home next Saturday (Feb. 23) when they face Pacific at 5 p.m. The game will be shown via WaveCasts on TheW.tv with Al Epstein. Pepperdine’s seniors will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
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