March 4, 2011
LAS VEGAS -- The Pepperdine men's basketball team survived to play another day behind the efforts of senior forward Mychel Thompson (26 points) and junior guard Lorne Jackson (23 points), as the Waves edged San Diego, 84-81, in a first-round game at the Zappos.com West Coast Conference Championships on Friday night.
The sixth-seeded Waves (12-20) had an eight-point lead with 50 seconds to go but the seventh-seeded Toreros (6-24) drained four three-pointers in the final minute, and had a full-court shot by Jordan Mackie narrowly miss at the buzzer.
Pepperdine now moves on to Saturday's quarterfinals and an 8:30 p.m. meeting with third-seeded San Francisco at the Orleans Arena.
Pepperdine defeated USD for the third time this season and ended a five-game losing streak to the Toreros in the WCC Tournament. The Waves previously went 3-0 against USD in 1989 and 1994.
"I thought we were pretty resilient," Pepperdine Coach Tom Asbury said. "We kind of took it to them a little in the second half. But as we went down the stretch, I don't know that I would have done anything different. No matter what defense we were in, they were hitting 25, 28 footers. There's not much you can do about that. We had enough of a cushion to be able to protect it. We had just enough. We played hard and we came here to win. Hopefully we continue to do so."
A total of 53 fouls were called and the Waves had the better of it from the free throw line, making 36-for-44 (81.8%) to the Toreros' 17-for-27 (63.0%).
The 36 free throws made were the most ever by Pepperdine in the WCC Tournament, as were the 14 made by Thompson (Portland, Ore./Santa Margarita Catholic HS/Stoneridge Prep) on 17 attempts. Jackson (Simi Valley, Calif./Simi Valley HS) sank 12 of 13 from the line.
Jackson also had eight assists and two steals, while Jackson pulled down six rebounds. Junior center Corbin Moore (Cypress, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) had 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Junior guard Dane Suttle Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif./Summit College Prep) scored nine points, including seven critical ones in the second half.
The Waves led 41-30 at halftime and went up by 14 at 73-59 with a little more than four minutes left. A 10-1 Torero run made it a five-point game with less than two minutes left, however.
The Waves shot a season-high 56.4% for the game but the Toreros weren't far off at 51.9%. USD made 10 of 20 three-pointers.
BYUtv will televise Saturday night's quarterfinal. The Waves are 6-0 against the Dons all-time in the WCC Tournament.