Men's College Basketball
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Pepperdine (10-13) at Portland (9-16)

The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 9, 4 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Chiles Center (4,852) -- Portland, Oregon. Television: TWC. Home Record: Pepperdine 5-6, Portland 7-6. Away Record: Pepperdine 4-7, Portland 1-9. Neutral Record: Pepperdine 1-0, Portland 1-1. Conference Record: Pepperdine 2-8, Portland 2-8. Series Record: Pepperdine leads, 55-32.

GAME NOTES: The Portland Pilots aim for back-to-back wins for the first time since before Christmas, as they host the Pepperdine Waves in West Coast Conference action at the Chiles Center on Saturday afternoon.

Since the start of the new calendar year, Portland has a total of just two wins, the most recent of those coming two nights ago versus Loyola Marymount at home, 69-60. The victory snapped a six-game slide for a squad that is just 2-8 in conference play, which is where Pepperdine is at the moment as well.

The Waves have also struggled in recent weeks, losing four in a row and seven of the last eight outings which is why they too are tied for seventh in the standings heading into the weekend. On Thursday night the program visited nationally-ranked Gonzaga and was eventually crushed by the Bulldogs, 82-56.

Pepperdine won the first meeting of the season last month by a score of 54-47 as Stacy Davis registered a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Jordan Baker came up a rebound shy of his own double-double as he tallied 10 points for the hosts. With that victory the Waves added to their lead in the all-time series which now stands at 55-32.

The Waves fell behind immediately against Gonzaga in Spokane, the visitors making a total of just six field goals through the first half. Stacy Davis managed to come up with a game-high 16 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Waves, followed by Nikolas Skouen and Austin Mills with 12 and 10 points, respectively, but the team shot just 36.2 percent from the floor and fumbled the ball away a total of 21 times. Davis is one of three players scoring in double figures for Pepperdine through 23 games with his 11.0 ppg, trailing Lorne Jackson and Jordan Baker who are posting 14.1 and 11.2 ppg, respectively, as the team struggles to come up with 63.7 ppg.

Trailing by three points at the break against LMU, the Pilots went from shooting an impressive 52.6 percent from the floor through the first 20 minutes action to an even better 59.1 percent in the second half as they pulled away for the victory. Ryan Nicholas stepped up to make all five of his perimeter attempts, finishing with 21 points, while Tanner Riley responded with 17 points and Thomas van der Mars 14 points and seven rebounds. Derrick Rodgers tallied just six points, but was still a major influence with 11 assists. Nicholas, a starter in all 25 games this season, is consistently on the verge of recording a double-double as he averages 13.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest. However, as well as Nicholas may play, the fact remains that this is a team scoring only 59.8 ppg.

Both of these teams are desperate to pick up conference wins right now, but neither is playing well enough to distinguish itself one way or another. Portland should be favored if for no other reason than it is playing at home this weekend.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Portland 66, Pepperdine 61

02/09 10:44:12 ET

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