YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Pepperdine Looks to Advance on Road


Pepperdine is familiar with the shadows, so this isn't so painful. While UCLA and USC look forward to high-profile games in the NCAA tournament's Sweet 16, the Waves quietly prepare for a second-round NIT game tonight at New Mexico.

It is March, after all. There will be a certain amount of madness inside the Pit in Albuquerque. And the game will be televised on ESPN.

"I expect 14,000 to 15,000 people, and they will be loud," New Mexico Coach Fran Fraschilla said.

NIT games leading to the semifinals are played at the home site of the team able to draw the biggest crowd. That means Pepperdine (22-8), which averages fewer than 2,000 at home, won't unpack until they do so for good.

Still, the Waves aren't complaining. They defeated Wyoming, 72-69, at Laramie, Wyo., in the first round, a victory that buried the bitter memory of blowing a 19-point lead to Santa Clara in the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament.

"Our conference tournament ended on such a down note that to be able to regroup and win at Wyoming was a good feeling," Pepperdine Coach Jan van Breda Kolff said. "Our kids can walk away proud."

New Mexico (20-12) counts on three guards for scoring. Ruben Douglas, a transfer from Arizona, scored 27 points in a first-round victory over Baylor and averages 15.9. Eric Chatfield averages 12.8 and Marlon Parmer averages 11.5 points and 5.4 assists.

Pepperdine counters with guard Brandon Armstrong, who scored 29 points against Wyoming, and forward Kelvin Gibbs, who averages 14.9 points and 8.2 rebounds.

"Gibbs is a wide body, and for a guy his size he is graceful around the basket," Fraschilla said. "Armstrong has to be the best guard we've played against this year. He will be a handful."


Tulsa (23-11) squandered an 18-point lead in the second half but came back in overtime to post a 76-73 victory over Minnesota (18-14) at Minneapolis. . . . Tony Stanley scored 17 points and Brooks Hall added 14 to lead Dayton (21-12) to a 71-56 victory over Richmond (22-7) at Dayton, Ohio. . . . Michael Gholar and Derrick Zimmerman each made three-point shots in the final 70 seconds to help Mississippi State (18-12) to a 66-61 victory over Pittsburgh (19-14) at Pittsburgh. Zimmerman, a reserve, led the Bulldogs with 15 points.

Los Angeles Times Articles