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Pepperdine Wins Its 7th in a Row

March 01, 1986|United Press International

SANTA CLARA — Grant Gondrezick scored all but one of his 18 points in the second half Friday night to pace 20th-ranked Pepperdine to its seventh straight victory, 56-51 over Santa Clara in a West Coast Athletic Assn. game.

The victory boosted the Waves to 23-4 overall and 11-1 in the conference, while the Broncos slipped to 10-16 and 5-7.

It was Pepperdine's 16th victory in 18 games.

Dwayne Polee helped the Waves with 13 points while Eric White added 10.

Steve Kenilvort led Santa Clara with a game-high 21 points. Dan Weiss added 10 points for the Broncos.

Santa Clara, boosted by Kenilvort's 13 points, held a 25-20 lead at the half. The Broncos led 21-12 with 4:42 to play, but Pepperdine went on 8-0 spurt to trail by one point with 1:37 left. Kenilvort then scored the last four points of the half.

Pepperdine's trapping defense and Gondrezick's scoring brought the Waves back in the second half.

They took the lead at 30-29 with 13:20 left on a tipin Anthony Frederick. After Santa Clara tied the game at 33 with 11:39 left, Pepperdine scored 18 of next 26 points to go ahead, 51-49, with 3:40 remaining. Gondrezick scored 13 of Pepperdine's 18 points during that stretch.

"We have been in some difficult battles at Santa Clara before, and tonight was not any different," said Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick. "They are very difficult to play at home. They came out and played aggressively, and we spent too much time complaining among ourselves and to the officials.

"But we played well the last five minutes of the first half and then took over immediately once the second half got started. Gondrezick really took us over the hump. He was scoring at will during the key stretch of the game."

Said the 6-5, 205-pound Gondrezick: "I had a very poor first half and I wasn't making the contribution that I should. We picked up the tempo defensively in the second half, and I was able to isolate myself down low and use my strength to get some easy layups. Thankfully, I made my free throws and it really picked up the pace of the game."

The victory kept Pepperdine one game ahead of Loyola, which defeated USF Friday night at San Francisco, 81-66.

Pepperdine can clinch the WCAC title at USF tonight. If the Waves lose tonight and Loyola wins, the teams will meet in a showdown Wednesday at Firestone Fieldhouse, where Pepperdine has won 27 consecutive home games.

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