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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Givens Suspended for Two Games

January 16, 1998|ROB FERNAS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

MALIBU — Pepperdine center omm'A Givens, who has struggled in his first season as a college starter, was suspended for the Waves' two games in the Bay Area this weekend by Coach Lorenzo Romar after fighting with a teammate at practice Tuesday.

Givens, a 6-foot-11 junior, is expected to rejoin the team at practice Monday.

He will be replaced in the lineup by Kelvin Gibbs, a 6-6 redshirt freshman, for West Coast Conference games tonight at Santa Clara and Saturday night at San Francisco. Givens' absence leaves the Waves with only seven scholarship players.

Efforts to reach Romar in San Jose, where the team is staying, were unsuccessful. Givens also could not be reached for comment.

Although he is the only true center on Pepperdine's roster, Givens has not asserted himself in the post. He ranks fifth on the team in rebounding with a 3.9 average and has struggled defensively as well. He averages 8.6 points.

Givens was pulled from the lineup in favor of Gibbs for five games in nonconference play but earned his spot back. He has shown improvement in recent games, scoring a career-best 19 points Dec. 30 against Marist.

An All-American at Aberdeen High in Washington, Givens considered offers from Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan before signing with UCLA in 1993. After spending two seasons as a seldom-used reserve, he transferred to Pepperdine following the 1995-96 season.

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