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Pepperdine Takes Down BYU 80-74 in Malibu

The Cougars and Waves met in Malibu with third place in the West Coast Conference on the line. For the second season in a row, the Waves defended their home court from the Cougars and picked up yet another big win in conference play.

Pepperdine's Stacy Davis led the Waves with 22 points against BYU.
Pepperdine's Stacy Davis led the Waves with 22 points against BYU.
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Both Marty Wilson and Dave Rose played with brand new starting lineups this third place tilt. Dave Rose's hand was forced when Chase Fischer took a ball to the head during shootaround and showed concussion-like symptoms. BYU play-by-play man Greg Wrubell broke the news via Twitter.

For Marty Wilson's Waves the change came with the reinsertion of Stacy Davis into the starting five. The junior big man had been coming off the bench for much of conference play, despite being a perennial all-WCC player.

The game got underway with a fastbreak lay-up from Amadi Udenyi on the Waves first possession. Udenyi's return to form from a hamstring injury has given the Waves a much needed spark. While Udenyi and the Waves are the up-and-comers in the WCC, they still have to respect Tyler Haws.

Haws passed the 2,500 point mark tonight, so it was fitting that he scored the first five points for the Cougars. He needed just 129 games to reach that mark. Some guy named Jimmer Fredette had to play 136 games to score that many points.

A back-and-forth affair over the first five minutes seemed to favor BYU, as the highest scoring team in the country hit ten points in just four minutes. More importantly for the Cougars in the early going was the foul trouble the Waves found themselves in.

During a span of over seven minutes the Cougars go on a 14-0 run to pull out a 13 point lead.

Pepperdine couldn't figure out how to score against the Cougars' zone over the final 12 or so minutes of the half. BYU, which isn't a great defensive team, was playing some of the best defense of their season.

When the two teams went to the locker room the Cougars held a 38-25 lead. It should have been much higher, but the Waves got a pair of desperation threes to fall down the stretch, including one at the end of the half from Shawn Olden.

While the rest of his teammates struggled to get shots to fall, Lamond Murray Jr. showed it was possible to score on the Cougars. The sophomore reserve scored eight straight points for Pepperdine to cut BYU's lead to eight.

Then it was Stacy Davis who came through for the Waves with four straight from the free throw line. The free throw discrepancy, which was in favor of BYU in the first half, had completely shifted over to Pepperdine. That didn't sit well with Dave Rose, so he yelled at the refs about it.

That didn't sit well with the ref being yelled at, so he slapped Rose with a technical foul. Pepperdine outscored BYU 34-23 after that.

BYU still held a lead when Lamond Murray Jr. ran out on a fast break with just under eight minutes to play. Kyle Collinsworth fouled Murray as he went up to the hoop but his shot still fell, and one enormous momentum shift came with it.

Lamond Murray started the Waves' comeback and then Stacy Davis took control of it, exploiting the Cougars' lack of size and skill in the paint. But, as was the case when the Waves beat BYU last season in Malibu, the guards were the ones who saw it through.

Amadi Udenyi dished out nine assists, a new career high for the sophomore. The other sophomore in the backcourt, Jeremy Major, drilled a three with five and a half minutes to play that gave Pepperdine a one point lead. The Waves held the lead for the remainder of the game.

With the win the Waves now own a season sweep of BYU, along with a win over Saint Mary's and a two point near-upset of Gonzaga. Pepperdine is alone in third place, ahead of the Cougars, but looking like team most capable of taking down the traditional big-three teams in the West Coast Conference.

BYU falls to 17-8 (7-5) and is now well on the outside of the NCAA tournament bubble.