Pepperdine (9-6) at BYU (12-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 10, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Marriott Center (22,700) -- Provo, Utah. Television: BYUtv. Home Record: Pepperdine 5-2, BYU 8-0. Away Record: Pepperdine 3-4, BYU 2-2. Neutral Record: Pepperdine 1-0, BYU 2-2. Conference Record: Pepperdine 1-1, BYU 2-0. Series Record: BYU leads, 6-4.
GAME NOTES: Sporting a perfect record at home this season, the BYU Cougars welcome the Pepperdine Waves to the Marriott Center in Provo on Thursday night for a West Coast Conference showdown.
BYU has won all eight games played at home this season and is already 2-0 in league play as well, thanks to an 80-76 victory versus San Francisco on the road last weekend. The win was the fourth straight and the seventh in the last eight outings overall for the Cougars.
As for the Waves, a team which is 3-4 in true road games in 2012-13, they too are coming off a conference win over the weekend after taking out Portland at home, 54-47. The victory was the second in the last three games for a team that has alternated wins and losses for the last seven contests and is off to a 1-1 start in WCC action.
BYU dominated the Waves in the most recent meeting last season, 86-48, which pushed the Cougars out to a 6-4 advantage in the all-time series. Pepperdine began the relationship with three straight wins and four in the first five meetings, but since then BYU has rattled off five consecutive victories.
Points were at a premium between the Waves and Pilots last Saturday night at Firestone Fieldhouse, but in the end Pepperdine had what it needed to get through with the seven-point win. Stacy Davis registered a double-double for the hosts with a game-high 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Jordan Baker came up a rebound shy of his own double-double as he tallied 10 points, but on just 4-of-14 shooting from the floor. Baker is currently third on the team in scoring with his 10.1 ppg, shooting only 38.3 percent from the floor overall but a more respectable 37.9 percent behind the 3-point line. Lorne Jackson (14.5 ppg) and Davis (11.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg) are looked to for significant contributions at the offensive end for a team that is generating just 64.1 ppg.
Trailing by as many as 14 points with just over three minutes remaining in the first half against San Francisco, the Cougars battled back in the second half by shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and holding the hosts to just 2-of-11 beyond the arc in the frame. Tyler Haws and Matt Carlino both tallied 22 points for the visitors, the latter adding seven rebounds, five steals and four assists. Brock Zylstra chipped in 16 points and Josh Sharp 10 rebounds as the Cougars showed that they can win even when Brandon Davies (six points) doesn't have a huge game. Davies, who played just 17 minutes before picking up his fifth personal foul versus USF, is second on the team in scoring with 18.7 ppg, but first on the glass with 7.6 rpg. Haws has been a force for the Cougars with his 42.4 percent accuracy out on the perimeter, leading to 20.9 ppg.
More often than not this season, the Cougars have generated at least 80 points thanks to an aggressive rebounding effort that not only leads to second-chance points for BYU, but also prevents such opportunities for the competition, and that will probably be the case again on Thursday night.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: BYU 83, Pepperdine 67
01/10 10:32:52 ET