Pepperdine (10-18) vs. San Diego (12-17)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 1st, 11 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (9,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: BYUtv, ESPNFC. Home Record: San Diego 6-8, Pepperdine 6-7. Away Record: San Diego 4-7, Pepperdine 4-10. Neutral Record: San Diego 2-2, Pepperdine 0-1. Conference Record: San Diego 7-9, Pepperdine 4-12. Series Record: Pepperdine leads, 56-36.
GAME NOTES: The six-seeded San Diego Toreros take on the seventh-seeded Pepperdine Waves in the second round of the 2012 West Coast Conference Tournament tonight at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, with the winner set to face third-seeded BYU in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Despite closing out the regular season by winning its last two games, Pepperdine had a sub par campaign by all accounts, finishing 10-18 overall and 4-12 in conference. In 25 previous WCC Tournaments, the Waves have accumulated a winning record of 28-21, and they won three tournament championships during a stretch of dominance in the early 90s (1991, 1992, 1994).
San Diego didn't fare much better than Pepperdine this year, finishing 12-17 overall, but it ended with a respectable WCC mark of 7-9, though it went just 1-9 against the five teams ahead of it in the standings. The Toreros notched their signature win at Loyola Marymount on February 23, but they followed that up with a loss to Gonzaga in the regular-season finale last Saturday, 65-57.
Pepperdine holds a comfortable 56-35 advantage over San Diego in the all-time series, although after getting swept by the Waves in 2010-11, the Toreros won both games this season by a combined 22 points.
Pepperdine has played solid defense this year, allowing opponents to score 65.5 ppg on 42.3 percent field goal efficiency. Unfortunately for the Waves, their offensive output has not been strong enough to take advantage of its stout defense, as they rank last in the WCC in both scoring (59.5 ppg) and field goal percentage (.396). Taylor Darby paces the unit in scoring with 12.2 ppg on a solid 46.2 percent shooting effort. Center Corbin Moore was named an All-WCC Honorable Mention this year after tallying 10.2 ppg and ranking second in the conference in rebounding at 8.5 rpg. While Pepperdine is on the plus side of the rebounding margin (+3.1), it is the second-worst squad in terms of giveaways, owning a turnover margin of -3.21.
San Diego is led by freshman guard Johnny Dee, who nets 13.3 ppg and he has drained the most three-pointers in the conference (71) at an impressive 41.5 percent rate. Dee was named to two separate All-WCC teams as he was one of six players named to the Honorable Mention squad and one of five named to the All- Freshman team. Beyond Dee however, the Toreros' offense hasn't been all that impressive, putting up just 66.7 ppg on 44.7 percent field goal shooting. Their three-point percentage (.363) is good enough to rank third in the conference, though their 185 makes from beyond the arc is third-worst. Chris Manresa scores 8.7 ppg and grabs a team-high 5.8 rpg, but as a team, San Diego is poor on the glass, sporting a rebounding margin of -3.9.
Points will be at a premium tonight, so the winner could be determined be which team's star gets hot. Pepperdine presents some matchup problems for San Diego in the paint area, but it hasn't fazed the Toreros this season against the Waves.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego 67, Pepperdine 63
03/01 10:33:50 ET