GAME NOTES: The Pepperdine Waves have lost three of their last four games, but look to get back on track as they host the Portland Pilots in West Coast Conference action at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Portland has won two games in a row, including a nine-point victory over then- No. 22 ranked Gonzaga, and most recently a WCC contest with Loyola Marymount, 71-57. The Pilots have won three of their last four.
The same Gonzaga team which the Pilots defeated recently took down Pepperdine Thursday night, 70-53. The Waves have lost three of their last four, and are a game and a half back from the top spot in WCC play.
Pepperdine has a serious hold of the all-time series between the two programs, leading 56-32. These teams will meet down the road in the regular season again on Feb. 15.
Portland was able to dispose of Loyola Marymount, 71-57, thanks to a strong shooting performance. Bobby Sharp drilled 4-of-5 from 3-point range and led the Pilots with 14 points in the contest. Kevin Bailey netted 13 points, while Ryan Nicholas scored 12 and grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double. Thomas van der Mars added 10 points and eight rebounds. The Pilots won despite 17 team turnovers.
Bailey leads the team this season in scoring, netting 16.6 ppg on 44.1 percent shooting from the floor. He leads the team with 18 blocked shots and is second in steals with 16. Nicholas tops the squad in rebounding with 9.3 rpg, and is tied for second on the team in scoring with 12.7 ppg with van der Mars. The Pilots are averaging a healthy 78.1 ppg this season, and holding opponents to 71.2 ppg.
Pepperdine held an 18-16 lead over Gonzaga midway through the first half before the Bulldogs went on a run to give them the lead for good. Stacy Davis was the only Waves player to net a double-digit point total, scoring 12 and adding seven rebounds. Davis also turned the ball over a team-high six times in the 70-53 loss. The Waves shot a dismal 32.7 percent from the floor in the contest.
Davis has taken over the top spot in terms of scoring for the Waves, netting 15.3 ppg and contributing 7.8 rpg. Brendan Lane held the distinction for the first portion of the season, and now averages 14.6 ppg with a team-best 8 rpg. Lane shoots 57.8 percent from the floor, including 46.2 percent from 3-point range. The Waves average 71.6 ppg and give up 71.1 ppg to opponents.
Pepperdine has the home advantage, but has struggled in its last four games to string anything together in terms of wins. The Waves could fall behind in WCC action even further with a potential loss to a good Portland team.
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