Pepperdine (12-13) at Santa Clara (18-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Leavey Center (4,700) -- Santa Clara, California. Television: WCC Digital. Home Record: Pepperdine 6-6, Santa Clara 12-5. Away Record: Pepperdine 5-7, Santa Clara 6-3. Neutral Record: Pepperdine 1-0, Santa Clara 0-0. Conference Record: Pepperdine 4-8, Santa Clara 6-5. Series Record: Santa Clara leads, 69-58.
GAMES NOTES: In a West Coast Conference collision at the Leavey Center the Santa Clara Broncos will take on the Pepperdine Waves on Saturday night.
Pepperdine rolls into this game riding its first two-game winning streak since the beginning of December. The Waves topped Loyola Marymount, 52-50, on Thursday to improve its overall record to 12-13 and its league mark to 4-8.
Santa Clara had been marred in a two-game losing skid before righting the ship with a 61-52 victory over San Diego on Thursday. Santa Clara owns an impressive 18-8 overall record this season but has had more mild success against the WCC with a record of 6-5 against league foes.
In the other meeting between these teams this season Santa Clara earned an 83-76 victory on the road. The win ended a two-game winning streak for Pepperdine in the all-time series, which the Broncos lead, 69-58.
The defensive struggle between Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount ended in favor of the Waves as they held the Lions scoreless in the final 3:31 of the contest. Jordan Baker was the lead scorer in the game with 16 points, while Lorne Jackson added 11 and had two important steals.
Low-scoring affairs have been the norm for Pepperdine, at least on its end. The Waves are the second-worst scoring team in the WCC (63.6 ppg), despite shooting at just under 45 percent from the field. The Waves have managed to keep opponents down to 66.5 points per game by forcing teams to shoot just 40.8 percent from the field. Jackson (14.3 ppg) has been the vital piece of the offense as he leads three players scoring in double figures but only four averaging more than seven points per game. Baker (11.4 ppg) is shooting just 39.5 percent from the field as one of the other primary options, while Stacy Davis (10.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) leads the team on the glass.
Though Santa Clara was only able to knock down 35.1 percent of its shots from the floor, the Broncos still captured a win by playing stout defense against San Diego. The Broncos held the Toreros to just 33.3 percent shooting while forcing a game-high 16 turnovers. That led to a 16-4 edge in points off takeaways for Santa Clara.
In the win, Marc Trasolini tossed up a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double. The 6-foot-9 forward (15.7 ppg, 8.3 rpg) has seven double-doubles on the season and is the only player in the WCC scoring at least 15 points and bringing in eight rebounds a game. Trasolini is one of four players averaging in double figures for the Broncos. Kevin Foster (18.2 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.5 spg) is the leader, while finding time to lead the conference in steals and rounding out the top five in assists. Evan Roquemore (12.6 ppg, 5.8 apg) is the leading player in the conference in helpers, while Raymond Cowels III (10.0 ppg) provides an additional scoring option. The Broncos are scoring a healthy 75.6 points per game as a team.
The talented starting five for Santa Clara has made sharing the ball a priority. That should yet again yield a victory for the Broncos.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Santa Clara 75, Pepperdine 67
02/16 10:31:58 ET