March 2, 2006
Spokane, Wash. - Sophomore guard Daphanie Kennedy scored a game-high 17 points and junior forward Jasmane Clarendon added 15 to lead No. 4 seed Pepperdine to a 70-58 victory over fifth-seeded Saint Mary's in an opening round game of the West Coast Conference (WCC) Tournament Thursday afternoon at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Washington.
The Waves (12-16), who won a first-round WCC Tournament game for the fifth year in a row, advance to the second round on Saturday. Following completion of first-round action, teams will be re-seeded with the highest remaining seed playing the lowest remaining seed.
Santa Clara, which won the regular season title, is the No. 1 seed, followed by Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount, which was a 61-56 winner over San Diego in the tournament's opening game.
Sophomore forwards Maija Lahde and Monica Mertle each scored 16 points to lead Saint Mary's in scoring. Senior guard Evynn Van Burger added 10 points for the Gaels.
Pepperdine sophomore forward Teiosha George also finished in double figures with 12 points.
"It feels great to get this first victory and advance," head coach Julie Rousseau said. "For a young team it is a great confidence-builder and I was pleased with our performance and it feels great to be moving on."
The Waves led 33-25 at halftime, equaling their largest lead of the game, behind a team-high eight points from Clarendon.
Pepperdine shot 48.4 percent from the field in the opening period as they connected on 15 of 31 field goal attempts. The Waves also took advantage of 15 Saint Mary's turnovers, scoring 14 points off of Gaels miscues.
Pepperdine, which had built an 11-point at 43-32 with 13:47 remaining, withstood a couple of second-half runs as Saint Mary's (12-16) twice cut the deficit to four points, the latest coming at 45-41 with 9:51 to play.
The Waves then went on a 6-0 run to build a 10-point lead built its biggest lead of the game at 60-46 on a three-pointer by Jessica Ross with 5:56 to play.
Lahde Led Saint Mary's with eight first-half points. The Gaels made 40.0 percent (10 of 25) of their shots and out-rebounded Pepperdine, 21-11, in the first half.
Pepperdine finished the game shooting 44.8 percent (28 of 60) from the field while Saint Mary's connected on 39.7 percent (23 of 58) of its field goal attempts.