GAME NOTES: Having lost their last two games, the Pepperdine Waves will look to get back on the winning side of things as they travel to face the Portland Pilots in a West Coast Conference clash at the Chiles Center.
Pepperdine has lost two in a row and four of its last six altogether. The Waves have fallen to an even 7-7 record in WCC play, which wasn't helped by an 83-68 loss to Gonzaga Thursday night.
Portland recovered from a Feb. 5 loss to Gonzaga with a victory Thursday night against Loyola Marymount, 71-64. The Pilots have won two of their last three games, but still own a sub-.500 record in conference play, 6-7.
Pepperdine has started to pull away from Portland in the all-time series, leading 54-40. The Waves defeated the Pilots in Malibu on Jan. 18, 76-65, to lengthen their lead in the series.
Pepperdine has now lost twice to conference rival Gonzaga this season. The Waves found themselves down by just four points twice in the second half, but in the final 10 minutes of play the Bulldogs were able to create some space for the victory. Stacy Davis led the Waves in scoring Thursday with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor. Nikolas Skouen and Brendan Lane each chipped in 12 points in the loss, with Lane adding six rebounds. Malcolm Brooks rounded out the double-digit scoring for Pepperdine with 11 points.
Davis and Lane have separated themselves from the rest of the Pepperdine pack in terms of scoring this season. Davis tops the team with a 14.8 ppg average, while Lane checks in right behind him at 14 ppg. Lane is shooting an impressive 57 percent from the field, and leads the team with 65 blocked shots on the year. He and Davis are tied for the team lead in rebounding, each bringing down 7.6 rpg. Jeremy Major is the last player averaging double-digit points totals at 10.1 ppg with a team-high 114 assists.
Loyola Marymount took a seven-point lead into the intermission against Portland Thursday night, but the Pilots battled back in the second half, outscoring LMU, 42-28, in the period for the seven-point win. Ryan Nicholas led the Pilots in the contest with 16 points, adding nine rebounds to his stat line. Bryce Pressley and Thomas van der Mars each chipped in with 14 points, while van der Mars completed the double-double with 10 rebounds. Bobby Sharp scored 11 points, and Alec Wintering dished out 10 assists in the win.
Bailey leads the team in scoring this season with a 16.5 ppg average on 44.1 percent shooting from the field. He averages nearly four points more than van der Mars and Nicholas, who each net 12.6 ppg this year. Nicholas tops the team in rebounding with a 9.2 rpg average, while van der Mars checks in with a 6.8 rpg mark. Wintering leads the Pilots with 115 assists and 38 steals.
Pepperdine won the first matchup this season on its home floor, and Portland will certainly get a boost from being at home in this contest. It may come down to the wire though, as Pepperdine's talented scorers could easily keep the Waves in the game.
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