Photos by Arthur Puu
Pepperdine Men’s Basketball returned home following a disappointing road trip to pick up their first West Coast Conference win against rival Loyola Marymount, 71-70 on Thursday, Jan. 25, but fell to Santa Clara, 73-59 on Saturday, Jan. 27.
On the road trip in Northern California prior to the two-game homestand, the Waves fell to Pacific, 92-78 on Thursday, Jan. 18 and San Francisco, 80-73 on Saturday, Jan. 20.
In the first game against LMU, Pepperdine got a huge three-pointer from freshman guard Trae Berhow in the final seconds of the game to go up 71-70 with 1.2 seconds left.
— Pepperdine M. Hoops (@PeppBasketball) January 26, 2018
LMU took an early 12-3 lead to start the game, but Pepperdine responded with a 9-0 run off back-to-back layups by junior forward Harrison Meads and senior guard Amadi Udenyi to even the score at 12. The Lions recaptured the lead with a 13-5 run before finishing the half extending the lead, 32-22.
Pepperdine came out of the break blistering hot, riding a 10-2 run keyed by a Cooper three to cut into LMU’s lead, 34-32. The Waves stayed within striking distance for much of the half before senior forward Matthew Atewe tied the score at 64 with 1:46 left to play.
The Lions and Waves battled it out at the free throw line late, with freshman guard Colbey Ross at the line with 7.4 seconds left. Ross made the first and intentionally missed the second before Edwards tipped the ball out to Berhow, setting it up for his late-game heroics. The Lions had a chance for a last-second shot, but the Waves defense forced a turnover to secure the victory.
Sophomore forward Kameron Edwards led Pepperdine with 16 points and eight rebounds, and junior guard Eric Cooper Jr. added 15 points.
Half-by-Half Scoring (vs. LMU)
Half 1: 32-22 (LMU)
Half 2: 71-70 (PEPP)
Pepperdine tried to make it two wins in a row, but couldn’t get it going on either end of the floor on Saturday’s 73-59 loss to Santa Clara. Edwards again led the Waves in scoring with 19 points, and Berhow matched his season-high of 15 points with a team-high seven rebounds.
The Broncos jumped out to a quick 10-6 lead, but the Waves answered with an 8-2 run keyed by back-to-back triples from junior forward Darnell Dunn and Berhow and an alley-oop layup to Meads to take a 16-13 lead. However, Santa Clara finished the half with a 20-6 run to take a 35-28 halftime lead.
Santa Clara’s offense stayed hot out of the break with a 9-3 run to stretch the lead, 44-31, but Berhow ended the run with a 4-point play. The Broncos continued to hold a double-digit lead for much of the half and the Waves couldn’t rally back.
Half-by-Half Scoring (vs. Santa Clara)
Half 1: 35-28 (SC)
Half 2: 73-59 (SC)
On plays leading to the game-winning shot: “Coach said tip the ball back [to] whoever got the ball, put it up and shoot it,” Berhow said. “Colbey had a good miss, Kam had a good tip-out and it was good shot, so that’s what we needed.”
On getting the first win on the WCC season: “[It] feels great,” Head Coach Marty Wilson said. “My guys have been working hard, they come to work every day, are professional, they compete.”
On improving moving forward: “We talk every day about getting better and we have in certain areas, but where we’ve been slipping up is the last three or four minutes where we have what we call ‘catastrophic turnovers,'” Wilson said.
Pepperdine will travel to the Pacific Northwest to take on Portland on Thursday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. before returning home to host Pacific on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.
Follow Arthur Puu on Twitter: @arthurpuu