San Diego (9-14) at Pepperdine (8-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 9th, 10:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Firestone Fieldhouse (3,104) -- Malibu, California. Television: None. Home Record: USD 5-6, Pepperdine 5-6. Away Record: USD 2-6, Pepperdine 3-8. Neutral Record: USD 2-2, Pepperdine 0-1. Conference Record: USD 4-7, Pepperdine 2-10. Series Record: Pepperdine leads, 56-35.
GAME NOTES: The San Diego Toreros shoot for back-to-back wins for the first time since November as they take the floor against the Pepperdine Waves in West Coast Conference action tonight at Firestone Fieldhouse.
San Diego began the 2011-12 campaign with four wins in five tries, granted those victories came against lesser opponents, and since then the team has won a total of just five times. Last Saturday, USD dumped Santa Clara at home in a 70-65 final to snap a two-game slide. With the victory the Toreros moved to 4-7 in conference play, which has them sixth in the standings.
As for the Waves, next-to-last in the WCC with just two wins in 12 chances, their lone triumph in the last 11 games came against Santa Clara as well, back on January 28. Since then the team has bowed in back-to-back decisions against Loyola Marymount (67-57) and Gonzaga (72-60).
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, the Waves are ahead by a count of 56-35, although San Diego won the first meeting of the season last month by a score of 65-56 at home.
San Diego shot just 38.8 percent from the field against Santa Clara over the weekend, but the hosts made up for that with 7-of-14 behind the three-point line and a 25-15 scoring advantage at the free-throw line. Johnny Dee accounted for 19 points, Christopher Anderson 13 and Chris Manresa seven points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Toreros. Dee, the only player to have started every game for the Toreros this season, is hitting his three- point shots at an impressive 44.2 percent clip and that has led him to 14.3 ppg which paces the group. Manresa, a 51.8 percent shooter from the floor who is only 54.1 percent accurate at the free-throw line, checks in with 10.0 ppg and is first on the unit withy his 6.5 rpg.
Pepperdine fell behind the Bulldogs immediately and was never able to recover, shooting just 8-of-26 from the floor in the first half en route to the double- digit home loss. Corbin Moore tried to keep the Waves in contention with his 17 points and 10 rebounds, but four personal fouls limited his time on the floor to just 26 minutes. Joshua Lowery added another 11 points and seven assists off the bench for the squad as well. Taylor Darby, responsible for just six points against Gonzaga, is still the leading scorer overall for Pepperdine with his 11.9 ppg, but his 62.0 percent shooting at the free-throw line is shaky at best. Moore (9.8 ppg) takes the lead on the glass with better than eight and a half rebounds per game, and that has helped the team to a 3.2 rpg advantage over the competition.
Scoring just 59.0 ppg this season, the Waves are not about to stun anyone with their offensive prowess, but as long as Pepperdine can keep the game close it certainly has a shot at the win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Pepperdine 61, San Diego 58
02/09 10:34:08 ET