Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Men's Hoops Stuns Broncos With Game-Ending Run
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 02/12/2009

Pepperdine-Santa Clara Box Score

MALIBU, Calif. ­— After trailing by 15 points early in the second half and still down by eight with less than four minutes to play, the Pepperdine men’s basketball team went on a 16-0 run to stun Santa Clara and earn a 66-60 victory in a West Coast Conference game on Thursday night.

The Waves (7-18, 4-5) won their second straight game and have been victorious in three of the last four, and avenged a road loss from two weeks ago to the Broncos (13-14, 5-5). Pepperdine has won four straight and 12 of the last 13 in Firestone Fieldhouse against Santa Clara. The Broncos held a 58-50 lead after a John Bryant putback with 4:05 to play, but the Waves scored 16 consecutive points over the next 3 ½ minutes to go ahead 66-58 with 30 seconds left.

Sophomore forward Jonathan Dupre' (Houston, Texas/Marshall HS/Collin County CC) scored a career-high 16 points, including 12 in the second half, and made seven of 12 shots. Freshman guard Keion Bell (Los Angeles, Calif./Pasadena HS) and sophomore forward Mychel Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Stoneridge Prep) each scored 14. Santa Clara got 25 points and 12 rebounds from Bryant, but no one else had more than nine points.

“Our guys stuck to the defensive game plan,” Pepperdine Associate Head Coach Marty Wilson said. “We knew they wouldn’t keep shooting like they did in the first half, but we had to defend, and we told them we were going to start making some shots. We made John Bryant work for all of his points. I have to praise the heck out of them. Santa Clara wanted to slow the game down in the second half, and we tried to speed it up. Mychel hit some shots and Jonathan got on a roll. We made some shots and our defense got better, and if we did that, we knew we had a chance.”

The game was close early, as a three-pointer by Bell tied it at 11-11 five minutes into the game. But the Waves went on a nine-minute drought without a field goal, and the Broncos hit three three-pointers and utilized a 12-3 run to go ahead 23-14. Senior guard Ryan Holmes (Phoenix, Ariz./Millennium HS/Phoenix CC) finally ended the cold spell on a fast-break lay-up with 5:55 to go in the half, making it 23-16. Santa Clara then went on an 8-2 run (as part of a bigger 20-7 run) to go ahead 31-18 with 2:40 to play, and the Broncos entered halftime with a 37-24 advantage.

The Broncos took their biggest lead of 15 points at 39-24 and 41-26 to start the second half, but a 7-0 Waves run got the score back into single-digits at 41-33. The teams went back and forth for a while, and Santa Clara still had a 51-41 lead with eight minutes to play. Thompson started a 7-0 run with a jumper, and Dupre’ hit a three-pointer and Bell scored on a short jumper to cut the lead to 51-48 with six minutes left. The Broncos regrouped, however, going back up 58-50 with four minutes left.

Everything changed at that point, however, as Dupre’ and Thompson hit three-pointers on back-to-back possessions, and a baseline jumper by Dupre’ tied the game at 58-58 with 2:37 left. Bell made two free throws to give Pepperdine its first lead since the first minute of the game at 60-58 with 1:56 left.

After Bryant missed a short shot, the Waves had three opportunities on their next possession, and freshman center Corbin Moore (Cypress, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) made the last one count on a tip-in with 58 seconds to play. Thompson and Bell each made a pair of free throws to lengthen the lead to 66-58 with 32.7 seconds left. The Waves scored on eight straight possessions.

Bryant ended the game’s scoring with a basket with 12 seconds left. But during the 16-0 run, Santa Clara missed four shots, failed to connect on the front end of a one-and-one twice and committed two turnovers.

After Pepperdine was outshot 54.2% to 37.0% in the first half, the second half saw the Waves hit 48.3% and the Broncos go for 30.8%. For the game, Pepperdine had a slight 42.9% to 42.0% shooting edge. Despite Bryant’s presence, the Waves finished with a 39-31 rebounding edge, which included 18 offensive rebounds.

Of the 11 players that saw action for the Waves, seven were freshmen or sophomores, and six weren’t on the roster last year. The Waves host San Diego on Saturday (Feb. 14) at 5 p.m. The game, which is homecoming at Pepperdine, will be televised by FSN West. Subscribers to “Wave Casts” at can listen to Al Epstein’s call of the action.

College basketball: Pepperdine ends SCU's win streak
Mercury News Wire Services
Posted: 02/12/2009 10:23:06 PM PST

Santa Clara couldn't hold a 15-point, second-half lead and lost 66-60 to Pepperdine on Thursday night in Malibu, ending the Broncos' winning streak at six games. John Bryant had 25 points on 11-for-17 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds for Santa Clara (13-14, 5-5 West Coast), but none of his teammates scored in double figures. Kevin Foster had nine points but was 2 of 15 from the field. Jonathan Dupree scored 16 points off the bench for the Waves (7-18, 4-5), and Mychel Thompson and Keion Bell added 14 apiece. Bell's two free throws with 1:56 to play capped a 19-10 run and put Pepperdine ahead 60-58.
Men's Hoops Hosts Santa Clara, San Diego
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 02/10/2009

Pepperdine Men's Basketball Game Notes

UPCOMING — The Pepperdine men’s basketball team, which began the second half of West Coast Conference play with a victory at rival Loyola Marymount last weekend, plays four of its final six regular-season games at home. This week, the Waves host Santa Clara and San Diego and they will be looking avenge road defeats from last month. Underclassmen are dominating the young Pepperdine lineup, as freshmen and sophomores are scoring nearly 85% of the points. rates the Waves as having the eighth least-experienced team in the country.
GAME #25 — Thursday (Feb. 12) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Pepperdine (6-18, 3-5, sixth place) vs. Santa Clara (13-13, 5-4, tied for fourth place) at 7:30 p.m.
GAME #26 — Saturday (Feb. 14) at Firestone Fieldhouse: Pepperdine vs. San Diego (13-11, 5-4, tied for fourth place) at 5 p.m. This is Pepperdine’s Homecoming contest.
TICKETS — Men’s basketball single-game tickets cost $15 (lower reserved), $12 (upper reserved), $10 (adult general admission) or $5 (children general admission). Call (866) WAVE-TIX to purchase tickets.
ON THE WEB — Subscribers to "Wave Casts" can catch all Pepperdine men’s basketball games on the internet at Veteran play-by-play man Al Epstein, now in his 24th season with the Waves, is behind the microphone. Non-televised home games will have live audio and video, while road games will be audio only. Go to the Pepperdine Athletics website and look for the WaveCasts link. An annual pass costs $69.95 and monthly subscriptions are also available. Live statistics will be available for all home matches free of charge, and links are provided to the home team’s website when the Waves are on the road.
ON TELEVISION — The Pepperdine-San Diego game will be televised live by FSN West. Ron Pitts and former Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick will call the game.
SANTA CLARA — Pepperdine is 52-65 all-time against Santa Clara and lost this season’s first meeting on the road. Over the last 10 meetings, the schools are 5-5 against each other. The Waves have won three straight and 11 of the last 12 in Firestone Fieldhouse. Tom Asbury went 8-5 against the Broncos in his first go-round as head coach.
LAST TIME VS. SANTA CLARA — Back on Jan. 31 ... The inside-outside play of Santa Clara proved to be a little too much as the visiting Waves fell 64-52 at the Leavey Center. Keion Bell had a team-high 12 points and Mychel Thompson added 10, but Santa Clara big man John Bryant had 19 points and 17 rebounds and the Broncos made 12 three-pointers. Pepperdine trailed 33-26 at halftime and was outshot 37.0% to 47.8%.
SAN DIEGO — Pepperdine is 52-32 all-time against San Diego. However, the Toreros have won nine straight in the series, including one earlier this season. USD has ended Pepperdine’s season at the WCC Tournament in each of the last four seasons. The Waves last won at home in 2006. Tom Asbury went 13-1 against San Diego in his first stint as head coach.
LAST TIME VS. SAN DIEGO — Back on Jan. 15 ... San Diego’s WCC-leading defense clamped down on Pepperdine, holding the Waves to 35.2% shooting and a 62-47 loss at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. The Waves scored a season-low 17 points in the first half and the Toreros went up 30-17 at the break before leading by as many as 21 in the second half. Mychel Thompson was the only Wave in double-figures with 15 points. Corbin Moore added eight points and nine rebounds. The duo shot 9-for-16 from the field, while the rest of the team went 10-for-38 and no one else had more than five points. One bright spot for the Waves was a +12 rebounding margin (37-25), which included 14 offensive rebounds (five by Moore).
LAST GAME — Senior guard Ryan Holmes had 18 points and a tremendous defensive effort lifted Pepperdine to a 58-43 win over local rival Loyola Marymount at Gersten Pavilion on Saturday (Feb. 7). The Waves swept the season series from the Lions for the third straight year and now have won six straight and 22 of the last 24 meetings. Keion Bell collected his second double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. The Waves held the Lions to opponent season lows for total points, first-half points (19), second-half points (24) and field goal percentage (25.8%). The Waves shot 43.5% from the field. Pepperdine led 26-19 at halftime, but LMU took a brief second-half lead and the game was tied 37-37 with eight minutes to go. The Waves then went on an 11-0 run and outscored LMU 21-6 over the final eight minutes.
KEION BELL — As Pepperdine’s leading scorer, Keion Bell has shown that he is a strong candidate for WCC All-Freshman team honors. He is averaging 12.4 points overall (14th in the WCC and third among conference freshmen) and 16.1 points in conference play (sixth in the WCC, second among freshmen). He has scored in double-figures in seven of eight conference games, and is averaging 18.3 ppg over the last six games (all in double-figures). He nearly set or tied two school records in the win at San Francisco (1/29). His 32 points were two shy of the Pepperdine freshman record and his 13-for-14 shooting was one field goal made short of the single-game record for field-goal percentage. Though just 6-foot-3, he has two double-doubles that came against Gonzaga (1/22, 19 points, 12 rebounds) and Loyola Marymount (2/7, 15 points, 11 rebounds).
QUICK HITSRyan Holmes scored only two points in his first five games after returning from a knee injury, but then scored nine points at both San Francisco and Santa Clara and reached double-figures for the first time since early this season with 18 against Loyola Marymount (he’s averaging 12.0 ppg in the last three games) ... LMU’s field-goal percentage of 25.8% was the first time an opponent had been held below 30% since 2006 (Santa Clara) ... The last time the Waves allowed fewer points to the Lions was a 55-41 victory in the 1958-59 season.
FREE THROWS — Pepperdine currently leads the WCC in free throw percentage at 70.9%. The Waves would like to get there a little more, as they’ve only shot 378 free throws compared to 518 for opponents. Seven of Pepperdine’s regulars are at 70% or above. Only Keion Bell appears in the WCC individual leaders (ninth place at 74.4%). Several others have higher percentages, including Lorne Jackson at 84.1%, but don’t have enough attempts to qualify.
ROTATION — Among the 12 players that got into the game against Loyola Marymount, nine were freshmen or sophomores and seven weren’t on the roster last year. Lately, Pepperdine has been starting three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior. Prior to that, the Waves had started four freshmen and one sophomore for nine straight games. The Waves have played five freshmen on the court at one time on an occasional basis.
FRESHMAN SCORING — Last year, freshmen scored 63.6% of Pepperdine’s points. It looks like the new group of freshmen will lead the way in 2008-09 as well. Right now they account for 58.3% of the scoring, compared to 26.2% by the sophomores and 15.5% by the seniors. The two games where freshmen contributed the most were at Hawaii and vs. Portland (76%).
STAT LEADERS — In the WCC, Keion Bell is tied for third in steals (1.50), ninth in free throw percentage (.744) and 14th in scoring (12.4) ... Taylor Darby is sixth in rebounding (7.0) ... Dane Suttle Jr. is 11th in three-point field goal percentage (.386) and 13th in three-pointers made (1.33) ... Andy Shannon is 11th in blocked shots (0.81) ... Mychel Thompson is 20th in scoring (10.3).
SEASON NOTABLES — The win over Cal State Monterey Bay gave the Waves their first victory in a season opener since 2001-02 ... Veteran broadcaster Al Epstein called his 700th consecutive Pepperdine men’s basketball broadcast vs. Pacific on Dec. 13 ... The game at Cal State Northridge on Dec. 18 was the 2,000th in program history ... Pepperdine’s 12-game losing streak tied the third-longest in program history and was the longest since the 1965-66 season ... The Waves beat Loyola Marymount in Firestone Fieldhouse for the 11th consecutive time ... Pepperdine won its conference opener (vs. LMU) for the first time since 2005.
SOLES4SOULS — Pepperdine’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, in conjunction with student-fan group Riptide, will be collecting shoes at Firestone Fieldhouse until Feb. 17 for Soles4Souls. Soles4Souls has already successfully donated more than one million pairs of shoes to those hurting both domestically and internationally. Fans can drop off shoes, both new and used, into the Soles4Souls collection box located near the concession stand at Firestone Fieldhouse, or among several additional boxes placed throughout Pepperdine’s Malibu campus.
ROSTER — The Waves have just five players that saw action last season. Only four of them were on the roster at season’s end, and because of injuries, only two of them played in the 2007-08 season finale at the WCC Tournament. The five returners accounted for 40.2% of last year’s scoring (950/2,365), 32.0% of the rebounding (357/1,117), 59.6% of the assists (239/401), 16.4% of the blocked shots (21/128) and 57.9% of the steals (183/316). To replenish the roster, the Waves added 10 newcomers. Two are sophomores that are junior college transfers, six are scholarship freshmen and two others are walk-on freshmen. Of the 15 players, 12 are underclassmen. The breakdown is three seniors, zero juniors, four sophomores and eight freshmen.
AGRE OUT — Sophomore center Denis Agre, in his first season at Pepperdine after transferring from Central Arizona College, became academically ineligible at the start of the semester. He averaged 3.2 points and 3.6 rebounds and started seven of the first 16 games.
RETURNERS — Three players — senior Rico Tucker (10.7 ppg last season), sophomore Mychel Thompson (8.1 ppg) and senior Ryan Holmes (6.0 ppg) — were starters in 2007-08. Senior Mike Hornbuckle (5.5 ppg) saw extended playing time last season and started half of the 32 games. Sophomore Gus Clardy (1.3 ppg), a walk-on, appeared in 16 games last season.
NEWCOMERS — When Tom Asbury was hired in February 2008, he was given a very late start to the recruiting process. The three recruits that signed letters-of-intent with the previous coaching staff were given their release, and several players transferred following the season. With many holes to fill, Asbury and his staff utilized their contacts, identified the best of the remaining unsigned talent that fit their needs and put together a very impressive group under the circumstances. The Sporting News ranked Pepperdine’s recruiting class #2 in the West Coast Conference.
NON-CONFERENCE SCHEDULE — The home schedule should have been much more palatable to Waves fans in 2008-09. A year after playing just three non-conference home games, Pepperdine supporters were treated to eight this time around, including ones against such big-time opponents as Brigham Young and Georgia Tech, and in-state rivals such as Cal State Bakersfield, UC Irvine and Pacific. A few of the road games were notable too, including contests at Pac-10 foes Arizona State and USC. The Waves also took part in the Rainbow Classic in Hawaii right after Christmas.
TELEVISION — The Waves will appear on television several times once again in 2008-09. Six games will be shown locally (Nov. 21 at Arizona State on FSN Prime Ticket, Jan. 10 vs. Loyola Marymount on ESPNU, Jan. 22 vs. Gonzaga on FSN West, Feb. 14 vs. San Diego on FSN West, Feb. 21 at Gonzaga on ESPNU and Feb. 26 vs. Saint Mary’s on FSN West). A few other games will be televised out of market (Nov. 21 at New Mexico State on FSN Arizona, Dec. 28 vs. Buffalo on KFVE in Hawaii, Jan. 17 at Saint Mary’s on Comcast Sports Net California).
TOM ASBURY — It was announced on Feb. 19, 2008, that the architect of one of the best stretches in Pepperdine history, Tom Asbury, was returning to Malibu to become the Waves’ head coach again. Asbury was previously at Pepperdine for 15 seasons, the first nine as an assistant coach (1980-88) and then the next six as the head coach (1989-94). He then served as head coach at Kansas State from 1995-2000 and was most recently an assistant coach at Alabama from 2004-07. Asbury went 125-59 (.679) in his first six seasons with the Waves and 210-147 (.588) in his first 12 seasons overall as a head coach. The Waves went to the postseason five times in six years with three NCAA Tournament appearances (1991, ’92, ’94) and two in the NIT (1989, ’93). Pepperdine won three regular-season West Coast Conference titles, finished no worse than second in any of his six seasons and compiled a league record of 66-18 (.786). Pepperdine’s only three WCC Tournament championships came under Asbury.
ASSISTANTSTom Asbury wanted to find assistants with a passion for Pepperdine and an understanding of its mission, so he turned to three former student-athletes. It’s believed that Duke and Pepperdine have the only two college basketball staffs where the assistant coaches are all alums. Associate head coach Marty Wilson (1985-89) and assistant coaches Damin Lopez (1990-94) and Will Kimble (2001-03) played in three different eras, all successful. In the 13 seasons that made up their playing careers, Pepperdine went a combined 261-135 (.659), had 12 winning seasons, won six WCC regular-season titles and three WCC tournament titles, and made six NCAA Tournaments and four NITs.
RECRUITS — The Waves signed two players to letters-of-intent for 2009-10 during the early-signing period. They are 6-foot-3 point guard Josh Lowery (Phoenix, Ariz./Desert Vista HS) and 6-foot-9 forward/center Tanner Kerry (Sydney, Australia).
WCC PRESEASON POLL — Pepperdine may do better than predicted, as the Waves were picked to finish eighth in the conference’s preseason poll, done by a vote of the coaches. The predicted order of finish went Gonzaga, Saint Mary’s, San Diego, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Portland, Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine.
LAST SEASON — The midseason resignation of Vance Walberg and several player departures that followed contributed to Pepperdine’s third straight losing season, as the Waves finished 11-21 overall and sixth in the WCC at 4-10. They defeated Portland in the first round of the WCC Tournament before falling to eventual champion San Diego in the quarterfinals.
PEPPERDINE HISTORY — This is the 71st season of Pepperdine basketball, and the Waves opened 2008-09 with an all-time record of 1,102-887 (.554). Pepperdine has been to the NCAA Tournament 13 times (last in 2002), and has won 12 West Coast Conference regular-season titles (last in 2002) and three WCC Tournament crowns (last in 1994).
BEST IN THE WEST — Over the 30-season period from the 1978-79 season through the 2007-08 campaign, Pepperdine has proven itself as one of the top Division I programs on the West Coast. Of the 31 schools that currently play Division I basketball in California, Oregon or Washington, the Waves began the 2008-09 season ranking third overall in postseason appearances (16) and fifth in both wins (516) and winning percentage (.575) over the past 30 years.
WCC HALL OF HONOR — Pepperdine great Doug Christie will be among the first class inducted into the WCC Hall of Honor at the WCC Tournament in Las Vegas in March. Christie was a two-time All-American and WCC Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992. The other seven set to be inducted are Hank Gathers (Loyola Marymount), Frank Burgess (Gonzaga), Clive Charles (Portland), Carroll Williams (Santa Clara), Tom Meschery (Saint Mary’s), Bernie Bickerstaff (San Diego) and Joe Ellis (San Francisco).
WAVES IN THE PROS — Several former Pepperdine players have gone on to play in the NBA, most notably Dennis Johnson (the 1979 NBA Finals MVP) and Doug Christie (a 15-year NBA veteran who was a mainstay on the All-Defensive Team). This is the 33rd consecutive season where at least one Pepperdine alum has been on an NBA roster. Currently in the NBA is Yakhouba Diawara, now in his third season overall and his first with the Miami Heat.
Alex Acker is on the Detroit Pistons’ roster for the second time, having also appeared briefly with the team in 2005-06. Some recent players have been playing in foreign countries, including Brandon Armstrong (Ukraine), Casey Crawford (Mexico), Tashaan Forehan-Kelly (New Zealand), Jelani Gardner (Greece), Kelvin Gibbs (Germany), Chase Griffin (Germany), Dana Jones (Switzerland) and Glen McGowan (Dominican Republic) and Levy Middlebrooks (Mexico). Robert "Hollywood" Turner, formerly a member of the Harlem Globetrotters, is now playing in Germany.
ABOUT PEPPERDINE — Pepperdine boasts a one-of-a-kind athletic department with unprecedented success for a school of its size. The Waves have won a total of nine NCAA championships in five different men’s sports — one of just 14 schools to have accomplished this feat. Of the 14, Pepperdine is the only non-BCS school and has by far the smallest enrollment. The majority of Pepperdine’s teams are ranked nationally year after year and several compete for conference and national titles.
The Broncos have won six in a row.
Men's Basketball Home

Basketball Travels to Pepperdine Thursday

Feb. 10, 2009
On a six-game winning streak, including five straight in the West Coast Conference, Santa Clara travels to Los Angeles this week to play at Pepperdine on Thurs., Feb. 12 at 7 pm and then at Loyola Marymount on Sat., Feb. 14 at 7:30 pm on FSN PT. Santa Clara is looking to sweep the season series vs. Pepperdine for the first time since 1984. In 1984 SCU won 77-63 at home on Jan. 19 and then 62-56 on March 3 at Pepperdine. The Broncos last win at Pepperdine: an 83-71 win in Malibu on Jan. 22, 2005.
Santa Clara defeated Pepperdine 64-52 on Jan. 31 in the two team's last meeting. John Bryant scored 12 points and tied the Leavey Center record with 22 rebounds. In addition, James Rahon scored a career-high 25 points, Kevin Foster scored 20 and Marc Trasolini added 11. SCU has won six of the last seven games played at the Leavey Center vs. Pepperdine.
The Broncos, 13-13 and 5-4 in the WCC, defeated Saint Mary's by 18 points, 70-52, on Feb. 7 in a sold-out Leavey Center. John Bryant scored 21 points and collected 15 rebounds. Kevin Foster was 9 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 5 from the three point line, scoring 26 points. In the game prior to the Saint Mary's win, SCU won at San Diego, 64-62, in overtime on Feb. 5. John Bryant led all scorers with his fourth 20/20 game of the year when he scored 23 points, including 11 of 13 from the free throw line, and grabbed 20 rebounds.

The Broncos are led by one of the leading WCC Player of the Year candidates, John Bryant, who averages a double-double with 17.5 ppg and 13.8 rpg.
Freshmen Kevin Foster, James Rahon and Marc Trasolini continue to make quick work of the SCU freshmen records with all three climbing up the top 10 lists of a number of categories (see page 7). Foster is second on the team with 14.0 ppg and Rahon is No 3 with 11.3 ppg. Trasolini is No. 2 on the team with 4.5 rpg and 1.4 bpg.
The Waves are 6-18 and 3-5 in the WCC this season. They are led by Keion Bell (12.4 ppg) and Mychel Thompson (10.3 ppg). Taylor Darby grabs a team-leading 7.0 rpg. They have won two of their last three games in the WCC. The Waves won 69-67 at USF on Jan. 29 and 58-43 win at LMU on Feb. 7. Sandwiched between the two wins was a 64-52 loss at Santa Clara on Jan. 31.
Santa Clara has won six straight dating back to its 70-54 vs. USF on Jan. 23. The streak includes five straight in the WCC. Previous highs:
Last time SCU won six straight: Santa Clara won six straight from Jan. 29 , 2007 - Feb. 17, 2007. It was also the last time it won six straight in the WCC.
Last time SCU won seven straight: Santa Clara won nine straight from Jan. 27, 1995 - Feb. 24, 1995. The nine-game winning streak featured eight straight wins in the WCC. It was the same year the Broncos won the WCC and played in the NCAA Tournament, falling 75-67 in the first round on March 17 to Mississippi State in Boise, Idaho.
70s Yes, 40s No
Santa Clara is 0-1 this year when scoring less than 50 points and 0-4 in Kerry Keating's two seasons. On the flip side, when Santa Clara scores 70-79 points, it is 3-0 this season and 7-0 in the last two years under Keating.
On the road
Nine of Santa Clara's 11 losses on the road this season were lost by a combined 33 points, averaging 3.6 more points for the opposition.
The Broncos lost by one at Saint Mary's (63-62) and at Portland (53-52); three vs. UAB (64-61) and vs. Arizona (69-66); by four vs. Florida Atlantic (65-61) and at New Hampshire (58-54); by five at Harvard (73-68); and by six at Georgia (64-48) and at Pacific (63-57).
Their three wins on the road were by a total of eight points: a 71-68 win at Montana, a 59-56 win at San Jose State and a 64-62 overtime win at San Diego.
Two games were a bit different. Santa Clara lost 95-53 at Gonzaga on Jan. 15, its worst loss ever in WCC play. Santa Clara gave up 78 points in its 78-66 loss at UNLV on Dec. 17. The Runnin' Rebels scored a season-high 42 points in the first half, but were out-scored by the Broncos 38-36 in the second half.

Pepperdine (5-17) At Santa Clara (10-13)
Saturday, January 31st, 10:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leavey Center (4,500) -- Santa Clara, California. Television: None. Home Record: Pepperdine 3-8, Santa Clara 8-2. Away Record: Pepperdine 1-8, Santa Clara 2-8. Neutral Record: Pepperdine 1-1, Santa Clara 0-3. Conference Record: Pepperdine 2-4, Santa Clara 2-4. Series Record: Santa Clara leads, 64-52.
GAME NOTES: The Santa Clara Broncos close out a four-game homestand tonight with a date against fellow West Coast Conference member Pepperdine at the Leavey Center. On Thursday night, the Broncos won for the third time in as many tries with an 82-56 thumping of Loyola Marymount. However, despite the overwhelming win, Santa Clara is still just 2-4 in conference play after opening the league schedule with four straight setbacks. As for the Waves, they too were in action two nights ago and for their efforts they pulled off a narrow 69-67 win against the San Francisco Dons on the road. While SCU is capping a pleasant stay at home tonight, this game represents the second of three straight on the road for Pepperdine, with a stop at LMU slated for next weekend. In a series that dates back to the 1955-56 campaign, Santa Clara own a 64-52 edge over the Waves coming into tonight. However, Pepperdine has won two of the last three encounters, including a 64-58 decision last season.
Needing a boost to earn their first road win of the 2008-09 campaign, the Waves got it from Keion Bell who tallied a career-high 32 points in the two- point win against San Francisco. Bell made good on all but one of his 14 field goal attempts and was a perfect 4-of-4 behind the three-point line as he stood as the lone double-digit scorer for the group. After 22 games, of which he has started 17, Bell leads the program in scoring with his 12.3 ppg, yet even though he was perfect beyond the arc two nights ago, his mere 25.9 percent accuracy out on the perimeter is not all that encouraging. Mychal Thompson, who made just 2-of-11 from the field versus the Dons and was guilty of four turnovers, is second on the squad with 10.8 ppg, but he is making only 37.2 percent from the floor thus far for a team that is converting at a disappointing 39.5 percent clip.
Like so many other teams that face off against Santa Clara, the Lions simply had no answer for John Bryant in the middle on Thursday night, allowing the Broncos center to rip down an incredible 22 rebounds, score 12 points and block five shots in the 26-point decision. Also having strong efforts were James Rahon (25 points), Kevin Foster (20 points) and Marc Trasolini (11 points) as the home team converted a sizzling 61.2 percent form the floor in the romp. The 22 rebounds for Bryant tied a career high and also put him ahead of Oklahoma's Blake Griffin for total rebounds on the season with 306 thus far. Simply a beast in the paint, Bryant is averaging 17.0 ppg and 13.3 rpg and is also one of the nation's best in blocked shots as well with a total of 62 over the course of 23 games. Foster and Rahon check in with 13.4 and 11.4 ppg, respectively, to help the team generate 64.9 ppg this year.
Without having to go into much detail, the bottom line here is that the Waves don't have anyone who can really put a body on Bryant, so there's a good chance the nation's top rebounder could have another huge outing this weekend.

Pepperdine - Team Notes

Beating Loyola Marymount is no reason to beat one's chest, but several aspects of the Waves' Feb. 7 victory over the Lions are reason for optimism.
First of all, Mychel Thompson, the team's second-leading scorer, was shut out and the Waves still won by 15 points. Certainly, the Waves can't afford to have Thompson absent from their offense in the long run, but only decent teams can survive comfortably with no help from one of their top offensive threats.
Second, the Waves' victory over Loyola Marymount was their second victory in three games, and both wins were on the road. Even though those wins came against lowly San Francisco and LMU, any road win is like found gold for a young team searching for confidence.
Finally, Pepperdine, as of Feb. 10, was three games ahead of last-place Loyola Marymount in the standings and two games up on San Francisco. In fact, the Waves were closer to fourth place than they were to seventh. Beating Santa Clara and/or San Diego in home games Feb. 12 and 14 will be a major challenge, but if the Waves could pull it off, they would be at least tied in the loss column for fourth place.
That's a rather amazing situation, considering Pepperdine, a team packed with freshmen, was picked to finish last under first-year coach Tom Asbury.
It suggests the Waves may be a factor in the conference next season or perhaps the year after.
Defense was the difference against Loyola Marymount. The Waves limited the Lions to 25.8 percent shooting, including 19.4 percent in the first half, and held Loyola Marymount to just three points for an eight-minute span after the Lions had tied the game with just under 10 minutes to go.
The lone experienced starter led the surge for Pepperdine. Senior guard Ron Holmes had 18 points, including eight in the final eight minutes when the Waves took control.
The Waves went 8-for-8 from the foul line in the final three minutes to preserve their lead, and that's a good omen for a young team.
--Pepperdine has won only four games against Division I teams, and those four victims have a combined record of 17-54, as of Feb. 10.
--Pepperdine beat Loyola Marymount despite giving up 22 offensive rebounds to the Lions.
--The Waves, who host Santa Clara and San Diego in their next two games Feb. 12 and 14, have beaten only one Division I opponent at Pepperdine, and that was a two-point win over Loyola Marymount.
--Pepperdine has won 22 of its last 24 games against Loyola Marymount.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We showed some poise in the end and made plays down the stretch. Our young players are maturing." -- Pepperdine coach Tom Asbury, after the Feb. 7 victory over Loyola Marymount.
Twelve Pepperdine players got playing time in the Feb. 7 victory over Loyola Marymount, and eight played 10 minutes or more. That depth may have helped the Waves in the second half. The Waves trailed by a point midway through the second half before controlling the final 10 minutes.
PLAYER ROTATION: Usual starters -- G Keion Bell, G Lorne Jackson, G Ron Holmes, F Taylor Darby, C Corbin Moore, F Mychel Thompson. Key subs -- F Jonathan DuPre, G Michael Hornbuckle, G Lorne Jackson, G Dane Suttle Jr.
Pepperdine 69, San Francisco 67
Santa Clara 64, Pepperdine 52
Pepperdine 58, Loyola Marymount 43
Vs. San Diego, Thursday, Feb. 12
Vs. Santa Clara, Saturday, Feb. 14
At Portland, Thursday, Feb. 19
At Gonzaga, Saturday, Feb. 21
IN FOCUS: San Diego has been struggling lately, and if the Waves get off to a good start, they might scare the Toreros. It would take big games by Keion Bell and Mychel Thompson as well as an off game by Gyno Pomare for the Waves to pull out a win, but that seems more possible now than it did a week ago. The Toreros won the first meeting between the teams by 15 points, but the Waves outscored San Diego in the second half of that game.
--Senior Ryan Holmes has seen his production rise steadily since returning Jan. 10 after missing 12 games following a knee injury. He totaled just two points in his first five games back, but he had nine in each of his next two before getting 18 in the Feb. 7 game against Loyola Marymount. He played 31 minutes against the Lions, his longest stint since the second game of the season.
--Freshman Dane Suttle Jr. played only three minutes against Loyola Marymount, the first time he has played fewer than 11 minutes in a game this season. He took two shots and went scoreless.
--Gus Clardy played only seven minutes in the Feb. 7 game against Loyola Marymount but he made his presence felt in the box score by committing four fouls in his brief stint.