Men's Basketball Falls in Opening Round of WCC Tournament to Pepperdine

Men's Basketball Falls in Opening Round of WCC Tournament to Pepperdine

LAS VEGAS - Trae Burhow posted a career-high 25 points and Kameron Edwards scored 23 to lead hot-shooting Pepperdine past Santa Clara men's basketball, 85-69, in Friday's opening-round action at the West Coast Conference Tournament.

Burhow (8 of 10 FGs) and Edwards (11 of 15 FGs) combined to shoot 76 percent from the floor for the 10th-seeded Waves (6-25) who were 7-for-12 from behind the 3-point line.

Matt Hauser tallied 15 points and KJ Feagin added 14, but was held to 4 of 22 shooting, for the No. 7 seed Broncos (11-20) who connected on just 42 percent from the floor.

Colbey Ross chipped in 15 points and seven assists for the Waves who led from nearly start to finish and shot 71 percent from the floor.

Edwards, who didn't play in the first two meetings of the season between the teams, was the catalyst early, scoring eight of Pepperdine's first 17 points.

The lead grew to 16 points only 8 minutes in before Santa Clara gained its footing.

Henry Caruso, one of four seniors playing his final game, scored 12 points including four in a row that cut the deficit to 31-22, but the Waves nailed their final three shots of the half to push the lead back to 14.

The Broncos shot better in the second half , but still couldn't stop the Waves who hit 19 of 26 from the floor in the final 20 minutes.

Hauser sparked a 10-0 run that trimmed a 19-point deficit to 51-44 with 13 minutes left, but Pepperdine answered right back with seven straight as Edwards hit a jumper and Berhow scored the next five.

Santa Clara never got closer than 12 points the rest of the game.

Pepperdine, which dropped eight straight before winning its last two, hit nine of its last 10 field-goal attempts in the game.

The Waves, playing inspired under head coach Marty Wilson who will not return after eight years on the bench, snapped a four-game losing streak to the Broncos.

KJ Feagin, Matt Hauser, Henry Caruso, Josip Vrankic and Emmanuel Ndumanya started as a group for the first time since Jan. 25 against San Diego. Hauser missed eight straight games after injuring his with a foot against the Toreros. Healy, who replaced Hauser, had started the last 10 games.
• The series began in 1956 and the Broncos hold a 77-59 lead and had won the previous four meetings, including wins in the last four meetings. Prior to the last five matchups, the series was even in recent years. Entering last season, the teams had split the previous 10 games.
• Santa Clara has a 28-30 all-time record in the West Coast Conference tournament, which began with the 1986-87 season. The Broncos have won two tournament titles, at the conclusion of the 1986-87 and 1992-93 seasons. They have a 4-3 mark against Pepperdine in the tourney.

"I would really like to congratulate Coach Wilson, his staff, and their entire team. I thought he had them prepared as well as could be and his game plan was masterful. His guys were locked in and played with great effort. They executed on the offensive end. We tip our hat to Pepperdine tonight.

"I saw our team come out of the gates and get punched in the mouth. We didn't execute our game plan defensively right away and before we could look up we were in a hole. A big part of the storyline is that Pepperdine played a really good game tonight. A combination of us not being at our best and not getting off to the kind of start we would have liked did that."

Head coach Herb Sendek

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