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Loyola's Oduok Wears Down Pepperdine

February 15, 1996|ROB FERNAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MALIBU — There was little secret to Loyola Marymount's 74-64 victory over Pepperdine in a West Coast Conference basketball game Wednesday night.

The Lions did it with defense and a strong effort by center Ime Oduok, two things that were missing in the team's losses at Gonzaga and Portland last week.

Loyola held Pepperdine to 39% shooting, and Oduok, whose persistent foul trouble had limited his play in recent games, came through with 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots before 1,346 at Firestone Fieldhouse.

The 6-foot-9, 250-pound Oduok had fouled out of both of Loyola's losses last week, games in which the Lions gave up an average of 89 points.

"Hopefully, that was an aberration that we won't see again," Loyola Coach John Olive said of his team's poor defense last week. "Having Ime on the floor helped. When he's in foul trouble and not on the floor, it's tough to be productive."

Oduok was happy to end his drought. He had averaged eight points in the previous six games.

"It's been long enough," Oduok said of ending his dry spell. "I'm beginning to make adjustments."

Guard Jim Williamson also scored 20 points for Loyola (16-8 overall, 6-5 in WCC play), which pulled away with a 9-1 run to take a 67-54 lead with 2 minutes 2 seconds to play. Williamson scored back-to-back baskets and Oduok had a three-point play during the stretch.

Pepperdine (9-14, 2-9), with only eight available players, faded in the second half after the score was tied at halftime. It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Waves and their sixth in a row at Firestone Fieldhouse, the longest home losing streak since the facility opened before the 1973-74 season.

Guard Gerald Brown scored 20 points to lead the Waves, who made only 10 of 26 shots in the second half.

"We got stagnant on offense," Pepperdine forward Bryan Hill said. "We started watching for someone else to score. We have to keep our offense moving."

The teams played a seesaw first half, which ended in a 33-33 tie. Loyola made only one of its first six shots and fell behind early, but rallied and took a 31-25 lead when Mike O'Quinn capped a 6-0 run with a drive to the basket.

Pepperdine countered by outscoring the Lions, 8-2, in the last 2:40 of the half on a three-point play by Brown and five points by freshman guard Tezale Archie.

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