Stacy Davis shooting free throws. (Photo by Jim Ewing)
History was made at Pepperdine University on Thursday night when the Waves took on the University of San Francisco Dons. Pepperdine's Stacy Davis became the all-time leading scorer in Pepperdine men's basketball history. Unfortunately for Davis and his team, USF proved to be too much to handle, and the Dons left Firestone Fieldhouse with an 82-72 victory.
Pepperdine entered the game riding high after road victories over Pacific, and conference powerhouse, St. Mary's last week. The first half of Thursday night's game was nip and tuck throughout, with both teams playing a high up-tempo style of offense. Both squads looked to push the pace whenever possible, and sometimes when it was not possible.
Uche Ofoebu hitting a corner 3 pointer (Photo by Jim Ewing)
The teams exchanged leads 11 times in the half and neither team was able to stretch their lead to more than 4 points. The first half came to an end with USF forward Uche Ofoebu hitting a corner 3 to give the Dons a 42-41 lead at the break. Ronnie Boyce led the way for USF in the half with 17 points on 8-11 shooting.
The highlight of the half, however, came at about the midway point, when Pepperdine senior forward Stacy Davis hit a lay up to become the all-time leading scorer in the history of Pepperdine basketball. After the basket the crowd rose to their feet and chanted Davis' name through the TV timeout that followed the basket, Davis finished the half as the Waves leading scorer with 16 points.
USF started the second half in a 2-3 zone defense, which confused the Waves, and helped USF go on a quick 7-0 run to open the half. USF point guard Devin Watson was also a key component to the Dons run, as he was a one man fast break. Pushing the pace with hard drives to the basket ending in free throws or a drive and kick to an open teammate, Watson finished the game with 21 points and 7 assists. The flow of the second half was much less fluid than the opening 20 minutes, the two teams combined for 25 fouls in the second half. At the 10 minute mark it seemed that the accelerated pace of the game was finally starting to wear on both teams. USF, leading by 5 at the time, became content to walk the ball up court on offense, and both teams went cold, with no points being scored for over 2 minutes of game time. After a timeout with 7 minutes left in the game both teams seemed to find their legs and the pace of the game again picked up. Having trouble finding shots against the zone, Pepperdine looked to their big man Jett Raines to get them back into the game. Raines was able to put in 14 second half points and keep the game within a reach, but with just under 3 minutes to play, USF's Devin Watson connected on back to back 3-point shots, pushing the lead to double digits and giving the Dons the breathing room they needed to close out the game. USF's Ronnie Boyce finished as the games leading scorer with 25 points, but it was
Devin Watson with the and one.
(Photo by Jim Ewing)
Devin Watson who was the MVP for San Francisco. Watson finished the game with 21 points and 7 assists, and his relentless attack on the basket all night long set the tone for his team, and as a true leader, Watson was able to put the game away late with a couple of clutch 3-point baskets. Stacy Davis led the way for Pepperdine with 20 points and 12 rebounds on his record breaking night.
With the loss Pepperdine falls to 9-7 in conference and will take on Santa Clara this Saturday, in what will be their last home game of the season. USF will be on the road at Loyola Marymount University this weekend, and with the win the Dons improve to 9-7 in conference play as well.