The Pepperdine basketball team had to work a little longer than expected to defeat the University of San Diego in a West Coast Conference game Friday night.
After defeating the Toreros by 12 points in San Diego last week and struggling to an 18-18 tie at the half, the Waves were pushed into overtime before pulling out a 61-57 victory before 2,529 at Firestone Fieldhouse.
The victory gave Pepperdine (17-4, 8-1) a two-game lead in the conference--its biggest lead of the season. San Diego is 9-11 and 4-5.
The Waves had one of their worst shooting performances of the season, making only 22 of 51 (43.1%) of their shots from the field and 13 of 27 free throws. But Coach Tom Asbury gave most of the credit to San Diego.
"They were very well prepared," he said. "I didn't think they'd be as prepared as they were after last week, but they zoned us, they played hard and they smelled blood."
Fortunately for the Waves, they made their free throws at the right time.
The biggest were a pair by forward Dana Jones that tied the score, 50-50, with four seconds remaining and sent it to overtime. Jones had made only two of six free throws before then.
"Right now, I think those were the biggest free throws of my life," Jones said. "I missed some before that, but I stepped up with four seconds left and knew I had to make them."
Pepperdine didn't take the lead to stay until forward Byron Jenson made a baseline jumper to make the score 54-52 with 2:12 remaining in overtime.
Pepperdine finally put the game away on a dunk by point guard Bryan Parker with nine seconds to play, making the score 61-54.
That capped a big night for Parker, who finished with 15 points--14 after the first half--in one of his best offensive performances of the season.
Jones had 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds and center Derek Noether added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Waves.