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Pepperdine Wakes Up, Beats Marshall, 99-90

January 05, 1988|RAY RIPTON | Times Staff Writer

Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick has been complaining lately that his players have been "very tired" from long road trips and have been sleeping their way through some games.

But Harrick wasn't complaining Monday night.

The Waves raced to a 99-90 nonconference victory over Marshall before 2,074 at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu.

Somebody must have left an early wake-up call for the Waves, and Tom Lewis, who scored a career-high 35 points and must have gotten up earlier than his teammates.

Lewis, one of the keys to a Pepperdine fast break that hasn't been effective lately, scored 20 first-half points, making 8 of 8 shots from the field. Overall, he made his first 10 shots.

That performance came after Lewis had what was probably his worst game this season in last Saturday's 63-60 loss to Connecticut. In that game, Lewis scored 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting. Monday, he was 12 of 17.

As a team, Pepperdine shot 41% against Connecticut. The Waves (7-5) were a lot better against Marshall (8-3), the defending Southern Conference champion.

Pepperdine shot 63% in the first half Monday night and 58.5% in the game (38 of 65).

It was close in the first half, with several lead changes and ties in the first 10 minutes. But with Pepperdine leading, 27-25, Levy Middlebrooks, who had 23 points and 10 rebounds, made a baseline jumper and Lewis made a three-point shot to increase the lead to 32-25 with 8:20 left in the half.

In the next five minutes, Pepperdine forced a number of Marshall turnovers with its pressing defense and increased its lead to 19 points, 50-31.

But Marshall began playing a pressure game of its own and outscored the Waves, 13-2, and narrowed the Pepperdine's lead to 52-44 at halftime.

The Thundering Herd, led by the excellent play of guard Skip Henderson and center Tom Curry, kept up the pressure in the second half.

Henderson, who scored 27 points, and Curry, who had 21 points and 13 rebounds, kept chipping away. And with 2:34 left, Marshall cut Pepperdine's lead to 90-84.

But the Waves made seven free throws down the stretch, four by Craig Davis, to clinch the victory.

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