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Pepperdine (10-5) at San Francisco (9-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 4 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: War Memorial Gymnasium (4,800) -- San Francisco, California. Television: TWCS, ROOT-NW, RM, CSN-CA. Home Record: Pepperdine 5-2, USF 7-3. Away Record: Pepperdine 4-1, USF 2-3. Neutral Record: Pepperdine 1-2, USF 0-0. Conference Record: Pepperdine 3-0, USF 2-1. Series Record: San Francisco leads, 71-50.

GAME NOTES: Tied with Gonzaga for the best start to the West Coast Conference schedule, the Pepperdine Waves go up against the San Francisco Dons in league action this afternoon at War Memorial Gym.

Not only are the Waves off to a perfect 3-0 start in conference, the team has won four straight games overall and five of the last six. Pepperdine was just in action two nights ago against Santa Clara on the road and squeezed out a 70-61 win. It was the first game of a four-game road trip that still has stops at BYU and San Diego remaining before the Waves are at home versus Gonzaga on Jan. 16.

As for the Dons, a team which is 7-3 at home, they too were in action on Thursday night and used the opportunity to post a 75-61 win against Loyola Marymount in conference play. The victory was the third in four games for a USF team that is 2-1 in WCC action.

In a relationship that dates back to the 1955-56 campaign, the Dons are ahead by a count of 71-50. San Francisco has won three straight over Pepperdine, including a 64-58 final in the most recent battle last season. The squads will get together once more during the regular season in Malibu in late February.

Pepperdine fell behind by five points midway through the first half versus Santa Clara, but rebounded with a solid run to close out the period and then held on for the win. Brendan Lane put the Waves on his back as he registered a huge double-double with 26 points and 17 rebounds, both of which were game highs, while Jeremy Major posted 11 points, seven boards and seven assists, matching the point production by Malcolm Brooks.

Outside of the fact that he is shooting worse at the free-throw line (.588) than he is from the field (.617), Lane has done everything right for the Waves. He leads the program in scoring (15.6 ppg), rebounding (8.5 rpg) and blocked shots (37) and is also on the plus side when it comes to assists-to- turnover ratio as well. Stacy Davis (15.1 ppg) is also a force on the glass (7.7 rpg), while Major (11.6 ppg) leads the group with 69 assists.

San Francisco scored the first points of the game against Loyola Marymount on Thursday and never looked back, as Cole Dickerson produced 20 points and eight rebounds for the hosts in the triumph. Avry Holmes was responsible for another 16 points and Matt Glover came up with a double-double consisting of 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, his efforts on the glass giving the Dons their overall margin (38-27) for the game.

On a team that is putting up 78.7 ppg, San Francisco has four current players scoring in double figures on the stat sheet, but none are putting in more than the 13.7 ppg being produced by Dickerson. Dickerson also accounts for a team- best 7.7 rpg while shooting 51.3 percent from the floor, which somewhat makes up for the fact that he has made a feeble 47.5 percent at the free-throw line. When not getting into foul trouble, reserve Kruize Pinkins (11.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg) has been a tremendous help for USF as well.

The fact that the Dons have lost Cody Doolin means the squad has lost a terrific perimeter player, and that's not something that USF can replace in a span of only a few weeks.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pepperdine 71, San Francisco 66

01/04 10:37:53 ET