Saint Mary's-CA (24-5) at Pepperdine (12-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 27, 11 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Firestone Fieldhouse (3,104) -- Malibu, California. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: SMC 15-1, Pepperdine 6-6. Away Record: SMC 8-2, Pepperdine 5-9. Neutral Record: SMC 1-2, Pepperdine 1-0. Conference Record: SMC 12-2, Pepperdine 4-10. Series Record: Pepperdine leads, 68-59.
GAME NOTES: On the verge of recording another 25-win season for the sixth straight campaign, the Saint Mary's Gaels head to Malibu for their final road game of the regular season on Wednesday as they clash with the Pepperdine Waves in West Coast Conference action at Firestone Fieldhouse.
One of only five schools to have won at least 25 games in each of the previous five seasons, SMC again has that goal on the horizon thanks to a 74-66 win over Creighton in non-conference play on Saturday at McKeon Pavilion. With the decision the Gaels, who are now 15-1 at home, have an overall mark of 24-5 with this and a meeting against Santa Clara this coming weekend to close out the campaign.
Saint Mary's has already locked up at least a share of second place in the WCC standings, trailing only second-ranked Gonzaga again, which the Gaels have fallen to twice here in 2012-13.
As for the Waves, they too were in action over the weekend, but for the second time in as many games they came up short, this time against San Francisco on the road, 64-58. With the decision, Pepperdine is now a mere 4-10 in conference play.
When the Gaels hosted Pepperdine in the first meeting of the season last month, SMC posted an 84-72 victory, which means the all-time series now stands at 68-59 in favor of the Waves.
Except for Jorden Page who finished with just six points, every starter for SMC hit for double figures in the win over Creighton, beginning with Matthew Dellavedova who dropped in 19 points, cleared six rebounds and handed out five assists, but along the way he shot just 6-of-17 from the field and turned the ball over five times as well. Stephen Holt and Mitchell Young pitched in with 13 and 11 points, respectively, while Brad Waldow recorded a double-double consisting of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Dellavedova, already the program's all-time leader in assists, is now tied for second on the all-time scoring list as well with Omar Samhan who tallied 1,846 points. With at least three games remaining on the schedule, the star guard now sets his sights on Daniel Kickert who holds the top mark with 1,874 points. With Dellavedova generally drawing most of the attention from the opposition, that opens the door for Holt (11.7 ppg) and Beau Levesque (10.7 ppg) to take their shots at the offensive end of the floor for a team that is generating 76.0 ppg and outscoring the competition by more than 12 ppg at this stage.
Despite shooting just 37.9 percent from the floor in the first half, including 2-of-11 beyond the arc, the Waves actually led by double digits over USF this past weekend, but in the second half Pepperdine just could not keep up and eventually bowed by six points on the road. Nikolas Skouen led all scorers with 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting behind the 3-point line, while Stacy Davis filled up his stat line with 12 points and game highs with 13 rebounds and six assists, followed by Lorne Jackson with 10 points.
Despite shooting just 29.1 percent from 3-point range, Jackson is the leading scorer for the program with his 13.7 ppg, followed by Jordan Baker (11.6 ppg) and Davis (10.9 ppg), the former leading the group with 84 assists and the latter controlling the glass to the tune of 7.3 rpg. Averaging only slightly better than five 3-pointers per contest, the Waves settle in with a shade over 63 ppg at the moment.
On the cusp of joining the nationally-ranked, there is still much to play for in the eyes of the Gaels, but they have to be careful not to look beyond this current opponent.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Mary's-CA 77, Pepperdine 63
02/27 10:32:42 ET