BYU (8-6) at Pepperdine (8-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, December 30, 10 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Firestone Fieldhouse (3,104) -- Malibu, California. Television: Time Warner Cable. Home Record: BYU 5-1, Pepperdine 4-2. Away Record: BYU 1-4, Pepperdine 3-1. Neutral Record: BYU 2-1, Pepperdine 1-2. Conference Record: BYU 0-1, Pepperdine 1-0. Series Record: BYU leads, 8-4.
GAME NOTES: Seeking just their second true road win of the season, the BYU Cougars go up against the Pepperdine Waves in West Coast Conference play at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu on Monday night.
BYU, which took down Stanford in Maples Pavilion in the second game of the season, has come up empty in four road games since. The latest setback was just two days ago at Loyola Marymount in the conference opener, 87-76. The loss was the third straight and the fourth in five games for a Cougars team which had started 2013-14 with four consecutive wins.
As for the Waves, they too started off the season strong with three straight wins and four in the first five opportunities, but then the team went through a stretch of suffering four defeats in six tries. Luckily it appears Pepperdine is back on the right track thanks to a 75-64 conference-opening win against San Diego on Saturday. The victory was the third in four games for the group.
The Cougars lead the all-time series by an 8-4 margin, having won the most recent meeting back in January by a score of 63-61. In a relationship that dates back to 1944, the Waves won the first three and four of the first five meetings, but since then BYU has rattled off seven victories. The last win for Pepperdine was an 82-79 overtime battle in 2002.
BYU led by a point early on against the Lions the other day at Gersten Pavilion, but in the end the Cougars could not keep up with the hosts. Kyle Collinsworth scored 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds for BYU, but he was also charged with five of the team's 13 turnovers. Eric Mika pitched in with 17 points and seven boards, Matt Carlino 13 points before fouling out and Tyler Haws 11 points as he shot only 4-of-15 from the floor.
Despite the disappointing effort by Haws over the weekend, he remains the leading scorer for the Cougars as generates 22.2 ppg on 45.7 percent shooting from the floor. Haws has also made an effort on the glass by pulling down 5.0 rpg, but his 15 assists are somewhat disappointing given how much he handles the ball and is able to draw defenses. Carlino (15.9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 66 assists) is supposed to be a deadly perimeter sniper for the squad, but he is down to just 27.9 percent on the perimeter.
Except for Atif Russell who finished with five points before fouling out following a mere 19 minutes of action, every starter scored in double figures for the Waves in their win over San Diego. Malcolm Brooks posted 20 points, Brendan Lane 18 and Jeremy Major 13 points and seven rebounds. Filling out his stat line was Stacy Davis with 11 points, a game-high 10 rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals.
Davis, a 51.1 percent shooter from the floor, leads the team in scoring with 15.8 ppg and is second on the glass with 7.2 rpg, trailing only Lane (15.2 ppg) who is producing 8.1 rpg and has recorded 30 of the unit's 60 blocked shots through 13 outings. As a team, Pepperdine is converting field goals at a 48.9 percent clip, compared to just 43.1 ppg for the competition, yet the Waves are outscoring those groups by only 2.4 ppg.
With Haws on their side the Cougars are never really out of a game, but he needs to get off to a positive start in order to keep BYU in the mix tonight. The same goes for Carlino who can be an all-or-nothing shooter as well.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: BYU 74, Pepperdine 69
12/30 11:03:22 ET