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Waves Hope to Ride Tide Into Tournament

March 01, 2001|STEVE HENSON

The task will be the same, and again it will be difficult.

The Pepperdine women's basketball team believes it deserves an NCAA berth, but the Waves first must make noise in the West Coast Conference tournament.

Pepperdine (20-9) plays San Francisco (12-15) in a first-round game at noon today at the Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego.

The Dons have lost four in a row, including a regular-season finale to Pepperdine on Saturday, but looming on the horizon are No. 1-seeded St. Mary's (22-5) and No. 2 Santa Clara (20-6).

The Waves lost twice to Santa Clara and split against St. Mary's during the regular season.

Guard Rasheeda Clark, last season's WCC player of the year, has rebounded slowly from an early season injury, but guard Damaris Hinojosa and forward Nadja Morgan stepped up for the Waves.

Hinojosa, a sophomore from Moorpark High, averages 14.5 points and has 115 rebounds and 105 assists.

Morgan averages 12.8 points and has 189 rebounds. Clark is shooting only 35%, but her scoring average has hiked to 9.9.

Rebounding is Pepperdine's strength. In addition to Hinojosa and Morgan, four other Waves have more than 100 rebounds: Nesha Thomas, Sarah Richen, Anna Lembke and Shannon Mayberry.

*

Fueled by a 10-2 start, the Pepperdine baseball team begins WCC play Friday at Portland.

Weather permitting, of course.

The Waves have had five games washed out, including three in a row.

Pepperdine hopes the momentum built from victories over ranked opponents USC, Tulane and Cal State Fullerton hasn't gone down the drain.

Pepperdine is ranked No. 10 by Baseball America magazine in surging to its second-best start ever. The Waves opened 19-1 in 1999.

Although pitching and defense are considered the team's strengths, the Waves' are batting .303 and average eight runs. Six players are batting over .300.

Senior Jared Pitney is batting .417, Dan Haren is batting .413 and Woody Cliffords is batting .412.

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