The Waves were a team on the rise in the WCC coming into this year. Tonight they blew their one chance at a signature, non-conference win in Westwood.
Marty Wilson's squad hung their hat on the defensive end last season, holding opponents to a measly 27.3% from long range (3rd in the nation). Coming into tonight's game against UCLA they had allowed just two makes in 36 attempts over two games.
UCLA needed just four minutes to match the Waves' season total from behind the arc. By the end of the game the Bruins had made six threes. They made all six in the first half.
Pepperdine had no answer for Tony Parker, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half as the Bruins built their comfortable lead.
Stacy Davis and Jett Raines aren't lacking in skill or ability but the Waves' frontcourt is of the undersized, stretch the floor variety. That didn't work well against UCLA's length and size inside.
Amadi Udenyi and Jeremy Major, the Waves starting backcourt, have the quickness off the dribble to break down almost any opponent. They weren't able to show that tonight, as the Waves kept to their game plan of milking the shot clock and looking for shots. The thing is, this Pepperdine squad really can't shoot. Last year they were 263rd in the nation in effective field goal percentage.
Tonight the Bruins held Pepperdine to 27-71 shooting (38%).
The Waves don't have a single team left on their non-conference schedule in KenPom's top-100. This was their only shot to pick up a signature win outside of WCC play. Considering a season sweep of BYU last season didn't even result in an NIT bid, this might have been their only real shot at a signature win.