(Malibu, Ca) This could have been anyone’s game but the final score had the Dons up by three over the Waves.
The Pepperdine men’s basketball team nearly knocked off one of the West Coast Conference’s top teams for the second game in a row, but San Francisco rallied in the final minute to post a 72-69 victory in Firestone Fieldhouse on Saturday evening.
The contest had 14 lead changes and 11 ties.
The Waves (8-8, 1-1) overcame a six-point deficit with four minutes remaining to go up two with 26 seconds left, but the Dons (14-2, 2-0) scored the game’s final five points, and the Waves missed a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer.
- Junior forward Kameron Edwards (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda HS) notched his first double-double of the season with a team-high 19 points and 11 rebounds, as well as a team-best four assists.
- Sophomore guard Colbey Ross (Aurora, Colo./Eaglecrest HS) scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half, but he was hampered by foul trouble.
- Sophomore guard Jade’ Smith (Oakland, Calif./St. Joseph Notre Dame HS) had his second double-double with 13 points (all in the first half) plus 11 rebounds.
- Freshman forward Kessler Edwards (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Etiwanda HS) had 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals off the bench.
- The Waves were outshot 48.1% to 35.8%.
- USF was a bit better beyond the three-point line, going 6-for-19 to the Waves’ 4-for-19.
- Both teams were good from the foul line, as the Waves went 17-for-18 and the Dons were 16-for-19.
- USF was leading the conference in rebounding margin (+8.3) and the Waves were 10th (-5.3), but that didn’t stop Pepperdine from grabbing 16 offensive rebounds and enjoying a 41-32 rebounding edge. The Waves outscored the Dons 17-6 on second-chance points.
- The Waves committed 13 turnovers to 16 for the Dons.
- USF led for 27:10 of the contest to 7:30 for Pepperdine.
- San Francisco was led by 21 points from Charles Minlend and 18 from Jimbo Lull.
PLAY BY PLAY
USF scored the first six points of the game, but the Waves tied the game at eight and took their first lead at 19-18. Down 35-33 with a minute and a half left, Pepperdine scored the final seven points of the half to go up 40-35 at the break (which turned out to be the Waves’ biggest lead of the game).
USF regained the lead early in the second half and led most of the rest of the way. Pepperdine had a couple of one-point leads midway through the half. But the Dons went up by six at 63-57 with 4:25 to go and had a chance to extend the lead further.
But the Waves got a stop, and then Ross scored 10 points over about a two-minute span. He had all the points in a 10-4 run, tying the game at 67-67 with three free throws with 1:48 left.
Both teams got a couple of defensive stops, but Kameron Edwards sank two free throws with 26 seconds left to put Pepperdine ahead 69-67. On the ensuing possession, USF’s Frankie Ferrari sank an off-balance three-pointer from the right wing with 15 seconds left to put the Dons up by one at 70-69.
The Waves unfortunately turned the ball over with four seconds left, and USF’s Jamaree Bouyea made two free throws to make it a three-point game. Pepperdine rushed the ball up the court and got Kameron Edwards a good look on a straightaway three-pointer at the buzzer, but it was off the mark.
- USF has now won seven straight games in Firestone Fieldhouse.
- The Waves lost for only the second time in eight home games this season.
- Pepperdine Coach Lorenzo Romar was denied in his first opportunity to win his 400th game as a head coach.
- Two Waves had double-doubles in the same game for the first time since January 2017.
Pepperdine takes its first WCC road trip next weekend, first up to Santa Clara on Thursday (Jan. 10) at 8 p.m., followed by a game at San Diego on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 1 p.m. Both games can be heard on WaveCasts with Al Epstein.
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