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Saint Mary's Bullies Bulldogs To 77-68 Win On The Road

Jan. 8, 2008

Pepperdine - 118
Hope International - 76

MALIBU, Calif. - After a month and a half away from home, the Pepperdine men's basketball team showed how happy it was to be back in Firestone Fieldhouse as the Waves crushed Hope International, an NAIA school, 118-76, on Tuesday night.

Due to differences between NCAA and NAIA rules, this was an official game for Pepperdine (6-10) while Hope International (1-9) considered this an exhibition.

Pepperdine took a 68-26 lead at halftime and then only played its reserves in the second half. All 14 Pepperdine players scored in the game.

The Waves set season highs for points, points in a half (68), field goal percentage (.588), three-pointers (16), rebounds (54), rebound margin (+22) and assists (26).

"We needed a home game and we needed a win," Pepperdine Coach Vance Walberg said. "It was good to see a bunch of different guys who don't usually see a lot of playing time do well."

Five Waves reached double-figures. Freshman guard Jon Reed (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Peninsula HS) scored a season-high 15 points, all on three-pointers, to lead the Waves. Freshman center Daniel Johnson (Perth, Australia) and junior guard Ryan Holmes (Phoenix, Ariz./Millennium HS/Phoenix CC) both only played in the first half, but Johnson had 14 points and Holmes had a career-high 12 points on six-for-six shooting.

Junior guard Mike Hornbuckle (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian HS/Azusa Pacific) had 12 points and senior guard Tyler Carr (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Thousand Oaks HS/Moorpark CC) added a career-best 10.

Hope International senior guard Aron Cline scored a game-high 19 points, and junior guard Ryan Sewitsky had 14 points.

The Waves were playing their first home game in 47 days after a stretch of 10 straight games on the road. This was only the third home game of the season for Pepperdine.

The 68 points in the first half was only four shy of the school record for points in a half, which occurred with 72 against Morehead State on Dec. 23, 1974. The Waves had three double-digit first-half runs of 13-0 (making it 24-4 with 14:25 left), 16-0 (making it 44-14 with 6:45 left) and 10-0 (making it 59-18 with 1:44 left).

The Waves took a 50-point lead on a dunk by senior center Jarrad Henry (Kansas City, Mo./Bishop Miege HS), making it 82-32 with 14 ½ minutes left. The Royals then had their nicest offensive stretch, hitting five three-pointers in a 17-0 run.

Pepperdine surpassed the 100-point mark on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Vuk Vojinovic with 4:32 left. The Waves last broke the century mark last season against Northern Arizona in a 101-86 win. It was Pepperdine's most points since setting the school record with 131 points against Loyola Marymount on Feb. 17, 1990.

Sixteen of the Royals' 27 field goals were three-pointers. Hope shot 36.0% from the field and 40.0% on three-pointers.

Pepperdine opens up West Coast Conference play this Saturday (Jan. 12) with a home game against Portland. The game begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised by FSN Prime Ticket. Fans can also listen to Al Epstein's call of the action at www.pepperdinesports.com.

Saint Mary's - 77
Fresno State - 68

Fresno, CA - Four players scored in double figures as Saint Mary's improved to 13-2 overall with a 77-68 road win over the Fresno State Bulldogs from the Save Mart Center. Omar Samhan had 13 points and 12 rebounds and Diamon Simpson led the Gaels with 17 points as Saint Mary's snapped an eight-game non-conference road losing streak on Tuesday night.

En route to his team-high 17 points, Simpson, the WCC Player of the Month for December, was 7-for-10 from the floor and made all three of his free throws. Additionally, he had four first half blocks, becoming the school's all-time leader in blocked shots. He entered the game with 153 career stuffs, and moved past Brad Millard for sole possession of first place all time.

For the sixth time this season, Saint Mary's had four players reach double figures in scoring. Ian O'Leary had a big game as he followed Simpson's 17-point and six-rebound effort with 16 points on seven rebounds. Samhan notched his third double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 points. The double-double for the sophomore marked the fifth of his career.

Rounding out the double-digit scorers for SMC was Carlin Hughes, who came off the bench to score 12 points. Hughes took eight 3-pointers in the game and made four from behind the arc for all his points.

The Gaels shot 53.8 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent from 3-point land against Fresno State, which dropped to 8-8 on the year. Saint Mary's was dominant on the glass, as it out rebounded the Bulldogs 41-24.

With the score 12-10 in favor of the Gaels, Saint Mary's went 9-4 run to take a 21-14 lead with 6:33 left in the first half. From there, Simpson scored 10 of the next 15 points for the Gaels, as SMC opened a 33-19 lead with 3:18 left until halftime. O'Leary scored the final four points of the half for Saint Mary's as the Gaels entered the lockerroom with a 37-14 lead.

After halftime, Fresno State cut the SMC lead to 42-31 following a 3-pointer by Bryan Harvey at the 17:40 mark. From there, Saint Mary's opened a 16-point lead (51-35) when Hughes made his third 3-pointer of the game at the 14:10 mark. After the Hughes three, Harvey capped a 13-3 Fresno State run was back-to-back 3-pointers, cutting the SMC lead to single digits (54-48) with just over eight minutes remaining.

Saint Mary's ended a four-minute scoring drought when O'Leary hit a three with 7:30 left to play. The three sparked a quick 8-0 spurt for SMC as Mills followed with his second three of the game, and a Simpson lay-up had SMC's lead back to double digits at 62-48 with 6:26 remaining.

The Saint Mary's lead stayed in double figures until Harvey made his sixth 3-pointer of the game with 28 seconds left in the game. The Gaels made 7of-8 free throws in the final 1:40. Todd Golden, who finished the game with seven points and four assists, made four straight and O'Leary was 3-for-4 down the stretch to keep the Bulldogs at a distance.

Saint Mary's will return to action on Saturday night with its West Coast Conference opener against Santa Clara. The game between SMC and the Broncos is scheduled to begin at 4:05 p.m. from McKeon Pavilion. The game can be seen live on Comcast SportsNet West.

Game Notes From Fresno State Game:

  • With four blocks, Diamon Simpson set a Saint Mary's career record for blocked with 157. He entered the game with 153 blocks and tied with Brad Millard (1995-00) for the school record.
  • With 17 points Diamon Simpson has scored in double-figures 11 times this season and 45th time in his career (76 games)
  • With 15 points Ian O'Leary scored in double-figures for the sixth time this season and 22nd time in his career (75 games).
  • With four players in double figures, Saint Mary's has had at least three players in double figures in 12 games. It marked the sixth time this season that four players have scored in double figures.
  • Samhan third double-double of the season and fifth of his career (47 games).
  • With 12 rebounds, Omar Samhan recorded his fourth double-digit rebound game of the season and sixth of his career (47 games).
  • With the road win, Saint Mary's snaps an eight-game road losing streak against non-conference opponents. The last road win against a non-conference opponent came on Jan. 5, 2006 at TCU.