Pepperdine, still flying high after its season-opening win over DePaul, managed to avoid being shot down by UC Irvine Tuesday night. Barely.
With six seconds left in the game, Craig Davis hit an 18-foot jumper off a screen by Tom Lewis, and the Waves pulled out a 91-89 victory before 2,077 fans at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu.
It was a strange ending to a game in which the Waves (2-0) never trailed and led by as many as 14 points in the second half.
Despite the victory, Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick was not pleased with his team's performance.
"I was disappointed with our emotion and our rebounding," Harrick said. "I think we were still playing Saturday's night's game (against DePaul)."
The Waves led at halftime, 40-34, increased their lead to 50-36 about two minutes into the second half on a three-point shot by Craig Davis, and appeared to be cruising.
But Kevin Floyd's three-pointer cut the Waves' lead to 84-81 with 1:41 remaining and Mike Hess' three-pointer cut it to 88-86 with 41 seconds remaining.
Floyd made another three-pointer with 23 seconds left to tie, it 89-89. It was the first time that Pepperdine wasn't leading in the game.
After Floyd's tying shot, Pepperdine called a timeout and set up the play for Davis. And the sophomore guard, who finished with 24 points, came off a screen by Lewis to hit the apparent game-winner.
But after the last shot by Davis, it wasn't over yet. With six seconds left and Irvine trying to bring the ball up, one of the referees called time. He had noticed that the shot by Davis had left the Pepperdine net snarled on the rim.
After the repair, Irvine's Frank Woods dribbled the length of the court, but he was unable to get off a shot as the buzzer sounded.