Pepperdine (12-14) at San Francisco (12-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 23, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gymnasium (5,300) -- San Francisco, California. Television: TWC, CSN-CA, ROOT. Home Record: Pepperdine 6-6, USF 7-7. Away Record: Pepperdine 5-8, USF 5-5. Neutral Record: Pepperdine 1-0, USF 0-3. Conference Record: Pepperdine 4-9, USF 5-9. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 74-46.
GAME NOTES: The Pepperdine Waves wrap up a two-game road trip on Saturday night, as they invade War Memorial Gymnasium for a West Coast Conference clash with the San Francisco Dons.
Pepperdine recently snapped a four-game losing streak with back-to-back wins over Loyola Marymount (52-50) and Portland (72-68 in OT), but it fell back to its losing ways last Saturday with a 70-60 road defeat at the hands of Santa Clara to dip to 12-14 overall and 4-9 in the WCC.
San Francisco is also in the midst of a lackluster campaign (12-15, 5-9 WCC), but it is fresh off a thrilling 61-59 road victory over Loyola Marymount on Thursday night. The Dons return home to War Memorial Gymnasium for this matchup, where they are just 7-7 this year, which includes three straight losses.
USF used a second-half surge to topple Pepperdine in Malibu on Feb. 2, 86-78, to extend its lead in the all-time series to 74-46.
The Waves found themselves in a 7-0 hole to Santa Clara less than two minutes into their latest game and could never recover from there on their way to a 10-point setback. It was a poor shooting night for Pepperdine (.383), and it was only able to keep the game relatively close thanks to a strong 23-of-28 showing from the foul line. Jordan Baker tallied 18 points, five rebounds and four assists, but he was also plagued by five turnovers. Stacy Davis and Jett Raines added 12 and 10 points, respectively. Despite outshooting its opponents from the field this season, 44.4 percent to 41 percent, Pepperdine still scores fewer points (63.4 ppg) than does its foes (66.6 ppg) thanks mostly to a disappointing -3.4 turnover margin. Lorne Jackson (13.8 ppg, 2.8 apg) and Baker (11.7 ppg, 3.5 apg) are both quality playmakers in the backcourt, but the two are the primary reason for the Waves' turnover problems, combining for nearly seven miscues per outing. Davis brings stability to the frontcourt with 10.8 ppg and 7.1 rpg.
The Dons saw their 15-point halftime lead evaporate after the break on Thursday, but with the game tied at 59-59 in the waning seconds, Cody Doolin put in the winning layup as time expired to lift them to the solid road win. USF shot nearly 46 percent from the field and drained 10 3-pointers, and it was paced by a great effort from Cole Dickerson, who shot 6-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, for 16 points. Doolin pitched in 13 points, while Mark Tollefsen added 11 points in the triumph. USF is fortunate enough to have one of the more effective scoring offenses in the WCC, as it put up 69.7 ppg, but unfortunately its porous scoring defense (69.8 ppg) virtually eliminates all positive work at the offensive end of the court. Cole Dickerson (14.7 ppg) is a multi-faceted performer who not only can knock down a 3-pointer (40-of-100) but can take care of the dirty work in the paint with 9.4 rpg. Doolin is one of the best perimeter players in the conference with 12.4 ppg, 5.7 apg and 1.6 spg, while De'End Parker is also a solid scorer with 12.1 ppg.
USF hasn't impressed much on its home floor this year, but feeding off the momentum of Thursday's win, it should be able blow past an underachieving Pepperdine squad in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Francisco 73, Pepperdine 64
02/23 10:43:09 ET