The Waves gather before tip-off in the game against University of Pacific on Feb.4. Despite the exciting third quarter, Pepperdine lost 59-66. Photos by Colton Rubsamen
“It’s just a matter of sustaining it; can we sustain it?” Assistant Coach Joial Griffith said. “We won the first [quarter], won the third [quarter], not sure how the fourth, came out to be.”
It was a slow start for both teams, as the Waves and the Tigers both didn’t score for the first two and a half minutes.
Stedman broke the dry streak as she drained a 3-pointer off a fastbreak, bringing the Waves to a 3-0 lead.
“The bench players came in, and they did an excellent job,” Griffith said. “They were [the] next person up, and I thought they did a great job.”
While it didn’t take long for the University of Pacific to answer back, Pepperdine kept the lead for the rest of the first quarter. Stedman sunk another shot from the paint in the quarter’s final seconds to solidify the Wave’s lead at 17-9.
The second quarter began with a roar from Pacific as they stormed back with a 3-pointer to bring Pepperdine to only a one-point lead at 17-16. Graduate student forward Theresa Grace Mbanefo and Walls tried to push Pacific back with two scores, but with every point for Pepperdine, the other side jumped back to counter it.
“A big takeaway is that we’re in a lot of these same positions, I think in a lot of our conference games especially,” sophomore forward Meaali’i Amosa said. “So, just finding a way to like clean up the second and third quarter so we’re not in a position where we’re trying to catch up.”
After a cold streak in the middle of the quarter, Pepperdine lost the lead to Pacific 27-23. While a contested 3-pointer by freshman forward Drea Brumfield brought the Waves within one point, the Tigers were able to keep the lead for the rest of the quarter, leading 27-33.
Pepperdine’s second wind came in the third quarter, as things began to click on offense. Stedman took command early on, scoring two crucial jumpers to bring the score to 39-33 Pepperdine lead.
Amosa took charge at the beginning of the fourth quarter with a block that turned into a breakaway. Still trailing, Pepperdine tried to change the pace of the game, being down 45-50.
Despite some crucial steals, Pepperdine was unable to keep pace with Pacific as fouls kept leading to free throws on the opponent’s side. Two 3-pointers from Wells helped give the team a little hope at the end, and Pepperdine lost 66-59.
The Waves next game is Feb. 18 at LMU.
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