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Big Second Half Lifts Pepperdine Past Saint Mary's

Jan. 27, 2007

MALIBU, Calif. - A Teena Wickett layup with 1:11 remaining broke a 72-72 tie and sent the Pepperdine Waves to their second West Coast Conference (WCC) victory of the season 76-73 over the Saint Mary's Gaels Saturday afternoon in Malibu, Calif.

Daphaine Kennedy led Pepperdine (9-13, 2-5 WCC) with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Wickett had 12 in 17 minutes of action and Teiosha George pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds to go along with nine points as the Waves snapped a five-game skid.

Saint Mary's (9-11, 3-4 WCC) was paced by Sheridan Arredondo's game-high 22 points and nine rebounds. Jontelle Smith added 20 points - 13 coming in the second half - and Eghosa Obaiza notched a double-double with a 17-point, 11-rebound effort.

Trailing by one, Serena Benavente drew a foul while in the act of shooting. She connected on her first try but missed on the second setting up Wickett's dramatic layup. Kennedy hit a pair of free throws with nine seconds to play to ice the win.

In a game that saw eight ties and 14 lead changes, Saint Mary's last lead of the game came to an end after consecutive Kennedy treys in the final three minutes pushed Pepperdine ahead, 72-71.

It took Pepperdine less than four minutes to erase a six-point halftime deficit as the Waves opened the second half on a 13-6 run that was capped by a pair of Jasmane Clarendon layups.

Pepperdine shot almost 52 percent from the floor (14-for-27) and forced Saint Mary's into 12 turnovers which resulted in 16 points but was out rebounded by a 23-14 margin in the first half.

After converting a pair of free throws, Benavente gave Saint Mary's its largest lead of the afternoon 17-8 at the 11:42 mark of the first half. Pepperdine quickly erased the Gael's lead when Lauren Wenski buried a pair of treys and Nakeya Isabell stole the ball from Benavente before going coast-to-coast for a bucket that put the Wave on top 19-18.

Pepperdine will open the second half of league play next week when it travels to Gonzaga and Portland.