Saturday, February 21, 2009


Gonzaga Pounds Pepperdine 92-58
Heytvelt tallies career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds in winning effort
Feb. 21, 2009
Box Score
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -Josh Heytvelt had a career-high 28 points and 11 rebounds as No. 17 Gonzaga routed Pepperdine 92-58 on Saturday night.
Matt Bouldin added 16 points for Gonzaga (21-5, 12-0 West Coast Conference), which has already clinched the top seed in the conference tournament. The Bulldogs moved a step closer to a third undefeated WCC season in the past six with two league games left. The win also ensured them solo possession of a ninth consecutive regular season title.
Freshman Keion Bell scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Pepperdine (8-20, 5-7), which has lost 16 straight to Gonzaga dating to 2002. The Waves lost 20 games for the fourth straight season.
Heytvelt shot 12-for-17 from the field, Micah Downs added 14 points and Jeremy Pargo 12 as the Bulldogs shot 57 percent despite making only five of 20 3-pointers
Gonzaga has overwhelmed most of its conference opponents this season, winning league games by an average margin of 20 points. Only three of its WCC wins were by less than 10 points.
Gonzaga, which has the best field-goal defense in the nation, held Pepperdine to 34 percent shooting. The Bulldogs jumped to a 26-16 lead behind 10 points by Heytvelt, who had 25 points the first meeting between the teams.
Gonzaga led 48-25 at halftime, behind 16 points each by Heytvelt and Matt Bouldin.
Heytvelt scored four baskets early in the second as the Bulldogs made eight of their first nine shots to build a 64-34 lead. Pargo's three assists broke a tie with legend John Stockton for fourth place on Gonzaga's all-time assist list with 557. Stockton is the NBA career assist leader.
Gonzaga is 62-3 in the McCarthey Athletic Center since it opened in 2004.

#17 Gonzaga Too Much for Men's Hoops
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 02/21/2009

Pepperdine-Gonzaga Box Score

SPOKANE, Wash. ­— Freshman guard Keion Bell pushed his streak of scoring in double-figures to 10 games with a team-high 17 points, but the visiting Pepperdine men’s basketball team lost at #17 Gonzaga, 92-58, in West Coast Conference action on Saturday night.

With just one weekend of conference play remaining, the Waves dropped to 8-20 overall and 5-7 in the WCC. The Bulldogs (21-5, 12-0) won their 16th straight in the series and clinched their ninth consecutive WCC regular-season title. Bell (Los Angeles, Calif./Pasadena HS) has been in double-figures in 11 of 12 conference games. He also had a team-high 10 rebounds, good for his fourth double-double of the season, all of which have come in the last nine games.

Senior guard Mike Hornbuckle (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian HS/Azusa Pacific) sank four three-pointers on six attempts and scored 12 points. Gonzaga big man Josh Heytvelt continued his strong play against the Waves with a career-high 28 points on 12 of 17 shooting. His previous career high of 27 points came against Pepperdine in 2007 and his previous season high was 25 against the Waves in the first meeting earlier this year. He led four Gonzaga players that scored in double-figures.

“They’re awfully good,” Pepperdine Coach Tom Asbury said. “They’re just too much better than we are right now. They’re bigger, more physical, more experienced. We can’t compete with that right now. We took a step backwards this weekend, although we played against two really good teams. Gonzaga is a quality team, they’ve got all the elements to make a run.”
As has been the case with most of the Waves’ conference losses, they found themselves in a hole early. Sophomore forward Mychel Thompson (Ladera Ranch, Calif./Santa Margarita Catholic HS/Stoneridge Prep) opened the game’s scoring with two free throws, but the Bulldogs went on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes. Gonzaga took its first double-digit lead at 21-9 on a Matt Bouldin three-pointer with 13:06 left.

It was 24-11 when Hornbuckle hit a three-pointer and Bell scored on a fast-break lay-up, cutting the deficit to eight points at 24-16 with 10 minutes left. That was the last time the game would be in single-digits, as a 10-1 run by the Zags extended their lead to 34-17. Gonzaga would go into halftime with a 48-25 lead.

Bouldin and Heytvelt each had 16 first-half points. The Bulldogs outshot the Waves, 51.5% to 27.6%, and had advantages of 12-2 in turnovers and 26-8 with points in the paint. Gonzaga’s biggest second half lead was 36 points. Led by Heytvelt, the Bulldogs finished with a 58-24 edge on points in the paint, and outshot the Waves 56.9% to 33.9%. The Waves ended up committing 21 turnovers. Of the 12 players that got into the game for Pepperdine, nine were freshmen or sophomores and seven weren’t on the roster last year.

The Waves conclude the regular season at home with two games next week. They host Saint Mary’s on Thursday (Feb. 26) at 7:30 p.m. in a game that will be shown on FSN West, and then have Senior Day with a game against San Francisco next Saturday (Feb. 28) at 2 p.m. Subscribers to “Wave Casts” at can catch all of the action.

Waves' Game on Saturday at Gonzaga on ESPNU
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 02/20/2009
Pepperdine Men's Basketball Notes
UPCOMING — The Pepperdine men’s basketball team continues its Pacific Northwest road swing on Saturday at #17 Gonzaga. The Waves had their three-game win streak end at Portland on Thursday, while the Bulldogs clinched their ninth consecutive West Coast Conference regular-season title. Pepperdine’s final regular-season road game will be televised by ESPNU. The Waves finish up their home schedule next weekend against Saint Mary’s and San Francisco. rates the Waves as having the eighth least-experienced team in the country, and freshmen and sophomores are combining for nearly 84% of the points. Freshman guard Keion Bell was named the WCC Player of the Week on Monday.
GAME #28 — Saturday (Feb. 21) at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash.: Pepperdine (8-19, 5-6, fifth place) at #17 Gonzaga (20-5, 11-0, first place) at 8:30 p.m.
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 and home TV 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-Gonzaga game will be televised live by ESPNU. Greg Heister and Krista Blunk will call the game.
GONZAGA — Pepperdine is 31-35 all-time against Gonzaga. The bulk of the Waves’ success came during Tom Asbury’s first stint, when he was 16-4 against the Bulldogs as an assistant coach and 10-3 as a head coach. But the Zags have won 30 of the last 35 meetings, including 15 straight overall and 10 consecutive in Spokane. The last Pepperdine win came in 2002 at home and the last road win was in 1998.
LAST TIME VS. GONZAGA — Back on Jan. 22 ... Pepperdine beat then-#23 Gonzaga over the final 34 minutes, but a big start by the Bulldogs helped them to an 83-69 victory in Malibu. The Waves fell behind 17-0 after six minutes, but outscored the Bulldogs by three the rest of the way. However, the closest Pepperdine got was 10 points in the first half and 11 points in the second half. Keion Bell recorded his first career double-double and posted team highs of 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Mychel Thompson added 14 points and Mike Hornbuckle had a season-high 12 points.
LAST GAME — The coldest shooting night of the season cost the Waves as they fell 74-45 at Portland on Thursday night (Feb. 19). Pepperdine shot a season-low 23.3% from the field after making seven of 30 shots in both halves. Dane Suttle Jr. had a team-high 13 points, his most in WCC play this season. Keion Bell added 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists. The Pilots broke out to a 39-18 halftime lead. The Waves missed their first 16 three-point attempts before Suttle hit one with 9:12 to play. The team finished 2-for-20 from beyond the arc.
PLAYER OF THE WEEKKeion Bell averaged 16.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.5 steals in leading Pepperdine to last week’s victories over Santa Clara and San Diego and was rewarded with WCC Player of the Week honors. He had 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals against Santa Clara. As the Waves rallied from a 15-point second-half deficit, his two free throws gave Pepperdine the lead for good with 1:56 left. He then collected his third double-double of the season with game highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds against San Diego, as well as five steals and four assists. Bell scored 12 of Pepperdine’s final 15 points of the game as the Waves held off the Toreros. The five steals were the most by a Pepperdine player this season. Bell is Pepperdine’s first WCC Player of the Week honoree since Chase Griffin won the award in February 2007. He’s the first Pepperdine freshman to win the award since Shaun Davis in December 2003.
MORE KEION BELL — A strong candidate for WCC Freshman of the Year honors, Keion Bell has proven himself as a rising star in the conference. He is averaging team bests of 12.7 points overall (13th in the WCC and third among conference freshmen) and 15.7 points in conference play (seventh in the WCC, second among freshmen). He has scored in double-figures in 10 of 11 conference games, and has reached double-figures in nine straight games (17.1 ppg in that time). He nearly set or tied two school records in the win at San Francisco on Jan. 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 he stands just 6-foot-3, he has three double-doubles in conference play, and his 6.4 rebounds per conference game leads the team and is 10th in the WCC (second among freshmen).
RYAN HOLMES — There’s a correlation between Pepperdine’s rapid improvement in recent weeks and the return to form by senior point guard Ryan Holmes. He missed 12 non-conference games with a knee sprain, and the Waves missed his steady play and leadership by going 2-10 without him in the lineup. Even as he tried to return from the injury, Holmes only collected a total of two points, three rebounds and three assists in his first five games back on the court. But in the last six games (where Pepperdine is 4-2), Holmes is averaging 10.8 points and 3.7 assists.
GOOD NEWS — The return of Tom Asbury and his staff and the immediate impact they have made has led to some notable successes that haven’t been seen here in a while ... Pepperdine is assured of its most conference wins since at least 2005, when the team had six victories ... The last time the Waves were at .500 or better at the 10-game mark of WCC play was 2004 ... Pepperdine’s three-game winning streak was its first in conference play since February 2004 ... With home wins over Santa Clara and San Diego, Pepperdine had its first two-game weekend sweep in WCC action since January 2005.
OTHER 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 ... 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 ... The season sweep of LMU was Pepperdine’s third in a row, and the Waves have now won 22 of the last 24 meetings ... The Waves ended a nine-game losing streak to San Diego.
REBOUNDING — An area that needed to improve, and has, is rebounding. Though the Waves have a rebound margin of -0.9 for the season, that’s better than the -4.4 and -12.3 of the previous two seasons. In the last four games, the Waves have outrebounded their opponents twice and been equal twice. Pepperdine is #2 in the WCC in offensive rebounds (12.74 per game).
CLOSE GAMES — Pepperdine has improved to 6-5 in games decided by nine or fewer points (4-2 in games decided by five or fewer points).
COMEBACKS — Three of Pepperdine’s victories have come after rallying from double-digit deficits. The Waves trailed by 11 points in the first half vs. Coppin State, by 15 points early in the second half vs. Santa Clara (as well as by eight points with four minutes remaining) and by 11 points in the first half vs. San Diego.
ROTATION — All 14 players that were available got into the game at Portland. Eleven were freshmen or sophomores and nine weren’t on the roster last year. Pepperdine has been starting three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior lately. 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’s virtually assured that the new group of freshmen will lead the way in 2008-09 as well. Right now they account for 58.0% of the scoring, compared to 25.9% by the sophomores and 16.1% by the seniors. The two games where freshmen contributed the most were at Hawaii and vs. Portland (76%). The freshmen have been the highest-scoring class in all but two games.
STAT LEADERS — In the WCC, Keion Bell is fourth in steals (1.59), ninth in free throw percentage (.737), 13th in scoring (12.7) and 15th in assists (2.22) ... Taylor Darby is ninth in rebounding (6.6) ... Andy Shannon is 10th in blocked shots (0.89) ... Dane Suttle Jr. is 12th in three-point field goal percentage (.375) ... Ryan Holmes is 14th in assists (2.27).
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 — Thankfully, the coaches got it wrong. Pepperdine is assured of doing 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 began the season with the Detroit Pistons but has come home after being traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. 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.
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.
Gonzaga Seeks To Claim WCC Title Outright Against Pepperdine
Bulldogs put 11-0 conference mark on line in final WCC home game

A ninth-straight West Coast Conference regular-season title, a 20-win season and the No. 1 seed into the WCC Tournament already locked up, Gonzaga University sets its sights on a couple of more goals when Pepperdine University visits Saturday for an 8:30 p.m. contest. The Bulldogs will be seeking to remain undefeated in WCC action after running their mark to 11-0 with Thursday's 91-54 victory over Loyola Marymount University. Gonzaga will also be seeking to claim sole possession of the WCC regular-season title, Gonzaga currently holding a 3-game lead over runner-up University of Portland with three to play.
Twelve consecutive 20-win seasons. Nine consecutive West Coast Conference titles. Gonzaga University reached both milestones with a 91-54 pounding of Loyola Marymount on Thursday. Steven Gray scored a career-high 23 points and Josh Heytvelt added 18 as Gonzaga earned the top seed in the league tournament and took another step toward a third undefeated WCC season in the past six. Gray came off the bench to make five of seven 3-pointers, all in his 21-point second half. Micah Downs added 16 points and Austin Daye 13 for Gonzaga, which out rebounded Loyola 44-31 and made 11 of 21 3-pointers. LMU came in as the worst shooting team in the nation at 34.8 percent, and made just 31 percent against the nation's top team in field goal defense (37.1 percent). The Lions were led by Kevin Young and Vernon Teel, with 13 points each. Gonzaga built a 17-2 lead in the first seven minutes as the Lions missed nine of its first 10 shots and committed five turnovers. The Bulldogs led 41-22 at halftime, after holding the Lions to 26 percent shooting. Gray scored 10 consecutive Gonzaga points early in the second half to help build a 56-29 lead. Nine different Gonzaga players scored as the team shot 50.8 percent, and made 18-of-21 free throws.
With Thursday's win Gonzaga University guaranteed itself the No. 1 seed and a berth in the semifinals in the West Coast Conference Tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs, who had no worse than the No. 2 seed and a semifinal berth already locked up, will play the 6:30 p.m. semifinal Sunday, March 8. The Bulldogs will face the No. 4, No. 5 or No. 8 seed. No. 5 plays No. 8 Friday, March 6, the winner plays No. 4 Saturday, March 7 and that winner faces the Bulldogs in the semifinals. The championship game is Monday, March 9 at 6 p.m. with the winner receiving the automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
Gonzaga University moved up two spots to 17th in this week's Associated Press Top 25 and one spot to 20th in the USA Today/ESPN balloting following last week's sweep at Saint Mary's College and the University of San Francisco. The University of Connecticut, which handed the Bulldogs an 88-83 overtime loss in The Battle in Seattle Dec. 20, remained No. 1 for the third straight week but suffered a loss to No. 4 University of Pittsburgh Monday night. The Bulldogs have been as high as fourth in both polls.