San Diego (9-8) at Pepperdine (9-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Firestone Fieldhouse (3,104) -- Malibu, California. Television: WCC Digital. Home Record: USD 7-2, Pepperdine 5-2. Away Record: USD 2-4, Pepperdine 3-5. Neutral Record: USD 0-2, Pepperdine 1-0. Conference Record: USD 2-0, Pepperdine 1-2. Series Record: Pepperdine leads, 53-36.
GAMES NOTES: The San Diego Toreros look to extend a three-game winning streak when they enter the Firestone Fieldhouse for a West Coast Conference bout with the Pepperdine Waves Saturday night.
After a 70-66 victory over San Francisco last time out San Diego earned its second three-game win streak of the season and pushed its overall record to 9-8. The win was also just the second in six tries on the road for the Toreros who have won each of their first two conference games. San Diego will be back home to host Loyola Marymount next.
Pepperdine was routed 76-51 by BYU on the road in its last outing. With the loss, the Waves have now dropped two of their last three games and fallen to 9-7 overall. The Waves are returning to Fieldstone Firehouse in this contest where they are 5-2 on the year. Up next for Pepperdine is another home contest against Santa Clara.
The Toreros have won the last three meetings between these teams, including a 76-54 victory in last year's WCC Tournament. However, Pepperdine still leads the all-time series, 53-36.
After racing out to a 46-32 lead at halftime over San Francisco, the Toreros crumbled in the second half and led by as only two points with 27 seconds remaining. However a pair of free throws from Cameron Miles sealed the win for San Diego which nailed 11 triples in the contest.
As long as Johnny Dee (14.9 ppg) is still running in the backcourt, San Diego will get plenty of production from beyond the arc. The 6-foot guard is hitting 41.2 percent of his shots from long range, including a 4-of-8 effort against San Francisco. He has at least one 3-pointer in all but two games this season and three or more in eight contests. There are no other players scoring in double figures, although Ken Rancifer (9.7 ppg) and Chris Manresa (9.7 ppg) each have the ability to do so. Christopher Anderson (9.6 ppg, 5.9 apg) is another above-average scorer and a strong facilitator from the point. Overall San Diego scores a mediocre 66.8 points per game, on 44.8 percent shooting while holding teams to 63.8 points per game.
At halftime it looked like Pepperdine might be en route to an upset as the Waves led BYU 35-30. However Pepperdine collapsed in the second half, connecting on just 27.3 percent of its shots from the floor as the Waves were outscored 46-16 in the final 20 minutes.
Pepperdine isn't normally a team that will put up points in a hurry. The Waves are scoring just 63.3 points per game this season which is the second worst mark in the WCC. Lorne Jackson (14.1 ppg) is the top offensive option for the Waves and one of three players scoring in double figures. Jackson has failed to score in double digits in the last two games however, after doing so in the first 14 contests. Stacy Davis (10.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Jordan Baker (10.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 3.4 apg) add to the Waves' offensive depth.
A return home should get Jackson back on track and in doing so put the Waves in a position to earn a conference victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pepperdine 69, San Diego 64
01/12 10:32:23 ET