March 4, 2006
Spokane, Wash. - Sophomore guard Daphanie Kennedy scored a game-high 18 points to lead a group of four Pepperdine players in double figures to help the fourth-seeded Waves hold on for a 59-58 victory over No. 2 seed Loyola Marymount Saturday afternoon to advance to the championship game of the West Coast Conference (WCC) Tournament in Spokane, Washington.
Pepperdine (13-16) will be making its fourth appearance in the championship game and first since 2002 when the Waves defeated Santa Clara, 81-77, at San Diego's Jenny Craig Pavilion.
Pepperdine meets the winner of this afternoon's second semi-final game between San Francisco and Santa Clara that is currently in progress. The championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday and will be shown on a tape-delayed basis beginning at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.
The winner is crowned the WCC Champion and earns the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Waves survived a late scare from Loyola Marymount (17-12), which rallied from a five-point deficit with 1:39 remaining to twice cut the margin to a point.
The Lions got to within one with :13 remaining on a jumper by Amanda Decoud that made the score 57-56. After a pair of free throws by Kennedy gave the Waves a three-point lead with :10 remaining, Loyola Marymount had a chance to tie the score with :03 remaining.
LMU's Amanda Patton was fouled behind the three-point arc by Teiosha George, giving the Lions' guard three free throws. Patton calmly sank the first two before Waves' head coach Julie Rousseau called a timeout.
Following the timeout, Patton missed the third attempt and the ball went out of bounds off Pepperdine with :02.2 remaining, giving Loyola Marymount a chance to win the game.
However, Patton missed a three-point attempt from along the left baseline as time expired.
The contest marked the second time this season that the Waves and Lions had a game decided in the closing seconds. Loyola Marymount defeated Pepperdine, 50-48, on a buzzer-beater in Malibu on January 28. The three games between the two teams were decided by a total nine points with the Waves winning twice.
Saturday's game had seven lead changes and eight ties with the largest lead by either team coming in the first half when Pepperdine led 23-13 with 7:01 remaining.
Pepperdine held a 28-24 halftime lead as it shot 40.7 percent (11-for-27) from the field and out-rebounded Loyola Marymount, 21-18. The Lions shot 32.1 percent (9-for-28) from the floor.
Freshman guard Sherriel Boyd led the Waves with seven first-half points.
Boyd finished the game with 10 points while George totaled 11 points and eight rebounds, and Jasmane Clarendon chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Forward Ashlee Dunlap led Loyola Marymount with 13 points while Bianca Ziemann and Valerie Ogoke added 10 points apiece.