Feb. 8, 2007
(Malibu, CA) - USF opened its Southern California West Coast Conference swing Thursday night with an impressive 64-60 victory against Pepperdine at Firestone Fieldhouse. The Dons (8-16, 2-7 WCC) snap a five-game losing streak and complete the season series sweep against the Waves (11-14, 4-6 WCC) for the first time since 2005.
Sophomore guard Shay Rollins a career-high 20 points, including 13 in the second half to lead the Dons attack. Junior center Lisa Olden added 16 points on 6-of-7 from the floor to go along with seven rebounds before fouling out in 27 minutes. Junior guard Dominique Carter added eight points, six coming in the last two minutes of the contest.
"This was a great team win for us," USF head coach Tanya Haave said. "We played really hard as a team and had a great week of practice. It is so nice to see that hard work rewarded win a big win. We executed when we needed to and I am proud of their efforts."
San Francisco shot .440 (24-54) from the field, while the Waves connected at a .420 (24-57) clip. USF got the job done on the boards and out-rebounded Pepperdine 38-29 and held a big edge at the free throw line, converting on .943 (13-14), while the Waves shot just seven at the stripe.
USF shrugged off an 8-0 Pepperdine run to start the opening period by reeling off 14 unanswered points to take an early 14-8 lead on an Olden jumper with 11:56 remaining. From there the Waves stormed back riding a 21-9 run to take a 29-23 lead into the locker room at the intermission. Rollins led the Dons with seven points and four rebounds, while Olden added six points. San Francisco shot at a .393 (11-28) rate, while Pepperdine hit at a .464 (13-28) clip. The Waves showed off its depth with 14 bench points in the opening frame.
San Francisco trailed by as many as eight points in the second half, trailing 37-29, but tied the contest at 45-45 on a Rollins 3-pointer with 8:24 on the clock. The Dons broke open the tie with an 11-6 run to take a 56-51 lead with 4:51 left on a Rollins lay-up. USF answered each late Wave rally with points and took only its second road win of the season and the first WCC game away from War Memorial Gym since winning at Portland January 19 of last year.
USF returns to WCC action Saturday afternoon when it takes on Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. Game time against the Lions is set for 2:00 PM at Gersten Pavilion.