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Loyola, Pepperdine Open WCAC Action Tonight

January 09, 1987|RAY RIPTON

Numbers may say a lot about Pepperdine's chances of winning its third straight West Coast Athletic Conference title and its sixth in the last seven years.

The Waves, who will open WCAC play at the University of San Francisco tonight and then play at Santa Clara Saturday night, have a 4-8 nonconference record. USF is 10-3, Santa Clara 9-5. At home, the Dons are 8-1, Santa Clara 7-1. The five other WCAC teams are all above .500.

But Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick said: "December records are misleading. It depends on whom you play and where you play them. We choose not to play Division II, Division III and NAIA schools, and 7 of our last 10 games were on the road."

Harrick said that his largely inexperienced squad has played reasonably well in its last four games and is getting better. "The conference race will be extremely close," he said. "I think it's going to be a good league (race). I hope we're in it."

Numbers do say a good deal about USF junior guard Rodney Tention and his value to the Dons. In his team's fifth game last year, Tention fell on his left elbow, shattered it and red-shirted the rest of the season. With him, the Dons were 4-0. Without him, they were 3-21.

Tention had recovered from last year's elbow problem and was starting again this season. But he was injured again in a victory over Cal State Stanislaus Dec. 26. Diving for a loose ball, he broke his nose when another player accidentally kicked him in the face. He did not play in last Monday's victory over Cal State Sonoma and is listed as questionable this weekend.

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