Dec. 30, 2006
MALIBU, Calif. - Pepperdine's struggles continued Saturday afternoon as the Waves fell to the Fresno State Bulldogs 68-59 at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif. The loss was the team's fourth straight. After opening the season 6-2, Pepperdine is now 7-8.
The injury-plagued Waves have struggled to find consistent rebounding since the loss of the team's top two rebounders in Teena Wickett and Teiosha George. Pepperdine also played its second straight game without leading scorer Daphanie Kenney who had started 63 consecutive games leading into this week's games.
Miranda Ayim had 15 points, all in the first half, before fouling out mid-way through the second period and Taylor Smith added 12, for the Waves, who are below .500 for the first time since the season opener.
Tierre Wilson had 18 points and seven rebounds, Paige Diggs scored 15 and Brittani Green added 12 for the Bulldogs (7-5).
Pepperdine was held without a point for the first five minutes of the game but only trailed by five. Fresno State would lead by as many as nine with 12 minutes to play. Pepperdine outscored the Bulldogs 20-9 from that point as a Smith Jumper in the final minute gave the Waves their first lead of the game 24-22.
Pepperdine maintained its lead over the first eight minutes of the second half but a Wilson layup at the 11:17 mark put Fresno State up by one 33-32 and started a 15-2 run over a five minute span as the Bulldogs went up by 12.
The lead would reach as many as 16 and Fresno State converted on 20-of-23 free throws in the second half to seal the victory.
Pepperdine will open West Coast Conference play next week when it hosts Portland and Gonzaga on Friday and Sunday, respectively.