Sophomore guard Ally Stedman gets in the paint and tosses up a floater over a defender at Firestone Fieldhouse on Nov. 2. Stedman led all Waves with 24 points. Photos by Brandon Rubsamen
Pepperdine Women’s Basketball team faced CSU Los Angeles in an exhibition preseason game at Firestone Fieldhouse on Nov. 2, losing 90-74. It was Pepperdine’s first and only exhibition game preceding the start of the regular season.
The team is retaining four starters from last season, including last year’s leading scorer sophomore guard Ally Stedman, senior forward Becky Obinma, sophomore forward Meaali’i Amosa and junior guard Kendyl Carson.
Stedman led the Waves in scoring with 24 points, while also adding seven rebounds and two steals. Obinma posted 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals, and sophomore guard Helena Friend added 10 points and five rebounds, but it was not enough to overcome CSU Los Angeles.
“It showed us everything we need to work on,” Stedman said. “We weren’t expecting that outcome, but we don’t have much time to prepare for our next game, but we’ll come back strong.”
The game started slow, without either team establishing a solid lead. There were four lead changes in the first quarter alone, which ended on Friend’s fast break layup with a single second left in the period, concluding the quarter with the score at 18-17 for CSU Los Angeles.
The second quarter saw more of the same back-and-forth action as in the first, until Pepperdine managed to break away and gain some cushion in the last two minutes of the half. Stedman sparked the run by dropping eight unanswered points on three consecutive possessions, hitting two threes and a pair of free throws.
“[Stedman] is the focal point of the offense,” Head Coach Kristen Dowling said. “As she goes, we go. It’s super helpful when her shot’s falling.”
Pepperdine’s interior defense also shined in the first two quarters, as the Waves posted five blocks in the half. Freshman center KK Brodie and freshman forward Drea Brumfield contributed two blocks each, and Friend contributed one.
The Waves entered halftime up 40-34 and would extend the lead to 10 with 6:38 on the clock in the third quarter. However, CSU Los Angeles clawed its way back in the game and ultimately tied the score with exactly two minutes until the fourth period.
Once again, the game returned to the back-and-forth nature of the first half, as the third quarter ended with three lead changes and Pepperdine down 57-56.
In the fourth quarter, disaster struck for the Waves as CSU Los Angeles broke the game open and garnered a double digit lead, nailing nine three pointers in the final period to do so. CSU Los Angeles junior guard Nicole Flennaugh knocked down eight of those triples, finishing the game with 32 points.
“I think we just kind of gave up,” Stedman said. “They went on a streak and we didn’t do anything about it. They were making their layups, we were missing our free throws— just the little things.”
Pepperdine shot a meager 55% from the line, capitalizing on 16 out of 29 opportunities. CSU Los Angeles, comparatively, shot 80% from the charity stripe, scoring 16 times in 20 attempts.
Dowling also echoed the emphasis on the little things.
“We have a tally sheet for missed layups and missed boxouts, and we run through it at the end of every day,” Dowling said. “We did a good job yesterday in practice, not missing layups and not missing boxouts. We got out-rebounded.”
Despite the tough loss, it was only an exhibition preseason game, but the Waves dropped their first two games of the season.
The Waves will play again Nov. 18 versus La Salle.
Follow the Graphic on Twitter: @PeppGraphic
Email Jaan Jafri: firstname.lastname@example.org