Feb 20, 2016
Pepperdine rallies past Santa Clara on Senior Night
Saturday evening was the final home game of the season for the Pepperdine Waves, and the fans showed up. The energy was palpable and the emotions were running high for the four senior players playing their last home game at Firestone Fieldhouse. Pepperdine started slow but they were able to get the job done as they walked out victorious tonight 88-76It was senior night for the Waves and they put on a simple yet classy ceremony to honor the four departing senior players on their roster (Stacy Davis, Jett Raines, Atif Russell, and Jake Johnson.) The University also honored Stacy Davis with his own personal ceremony before tip-off. Davis was slightly emotional at mid-court as he received his awards and acknowledged his family, friends, and fans in attendance. Stacy Davis is well deserving of the honors he received, he is arguably the greatest player in Pepperdine basketball history. Davis is the all-time leading scorer in school history with 1,733 career points, he also ranks in the top five all-time in rebounds, double-doubles, and free throws. Once the festivities were over and the game got underway it appeared that the energy and excitement in the building had the players experiencing some tightness and some nerves. The teams combined to shoot 2 for 13 through the first five minutes of the game. After the nerves settled the teams began to find pace and flow to the game. Santa Clara guard Jared Brownridge came into the game second in the West Coast Conference averaging 20 points per game, and he started hot again for the Broncos. Brownridge connected on 4 of his first 6 shots including two 3-point baskets on his way to 12 first-half points. The Waves were propelled early on by senior big man Jett Raines who had 6 points and 3 rebounds in the opening ten minutes of the game. As the half progressed it was junior small forward Lamond Murray Jr. who led the way for Pepperdine, Murray finished the first half with 13 points on ten shots. Neither team was able to create much early separation, until, with about five minutes remaining in the half, Pepperdine was able to string together 4 consecutive stops and get out to a 27-21 advantage. The Waves took a 32-28 lead into halftime and were led by Murray Jr's 13 points along with Stacy Davis' 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. The second half began with both teams trading baskets. Stacy Davis came out more aggressive on offense, looking for his shot. Davis put up Pepperdine's first 5 points of the second half and was on his way to another stellar all-around performance. The highlight play of the game came when Lamond Murray Jr. slipped into the passing lane and took the steal coast to coast for a monstrous break-away dunk. As the second half unfolded the basket seemed to widen for Murray who finished with 12 points in the second half, and a team high, 25 on the night. With about 11 minutes to go in the game, Santa Clara found a way to pull in front, 56-54. The Broncos had been being dominated in seemingly every offensive category, every category except one. The Broncos were holding a lead thanks to that great equalizer, the 3-point shot. Santa Clara made nine 3-point shots in the game, led by Brownridge who went 4/10 from downtown. Brownridge had another 25+ point outing as he finished with a game high 26 points. With the game tied at 57 a piece and only ten minutes remaining on the clock it was still unclear which team would do enough to get the win. It was at this time that Pepperdine coach Marty Wilson decided to switch to a high pressure man to man defense, while double teaming Brownridge whenever he touched the ball. Santa Clara played right into the hands of the home team as they proceeded to miss five consecutive 3-points shot attempts. Pepperdine was able to take advantage of the Broncos cold streak with gang rebounds, long outlet passes, and fast break points. The Waves would go on an 11-0 run, and all but seal the victory. Santa Clara, however, would not go away quietly, with just under 3 minutes left to play the Broncos had cut the deficit back down to 6,but then on the following possession, Waves guard Amadi Udenyi threw what appeared to be an attempted alley-oop pass, but instead the ball ended up finding its way into the basket for a 3-point shot that would finally put the game on ice. With 16 seconds remaining, coach Wilson removed Stacy Davis and Jett Raines from the game. The crowd stood on its feet giving an extended standing ovation to their two star senior stars. Davis ended his home career with yet another double-double, scoring 20 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and adding 4 assists for good measure. Raines finished with 15 points and 7 rebounds. With the win Pepperdine improves to 10-7 in WCC play, good for fourth place in the current standings. Santa Clara falls to 6-10 in WCC play, ranking them seventh in the current standings.