Northern Iowa University, playing without one of its top players, gave Pepperdine all it could handle Saturday at Malibu.
"I tell you, we could never get rid of them," Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick said after his Waves escaped with a 94-86 win before 1,022 fans at Firestone Fieldhouse.
The Panthers, from Cedar Falls, Iowa, were playing without 6-10 center Scott Plondke, who was benched for missing a practice. Plondke is averaging 17 points and 8 rebounds.
Dwayne Polee scored a career-and game-high 28 points with 11-for-14 shooting for the Waves (11-2). He also reached 1,000 career points in three years at Pepperdine when he hit a free throw with four seconds to play.