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Pepperdine Packs More Punch, 88-79

College basketball: Waves get big lift from McGowan in defeating No. 13 Gonzaga to take lead in West Coast Conference race.


Instead of throwing punches, Glen McGowan is finally doing what his Pepperdine coaches expected all along--playing knockout basketball.

The Wave forward, playing in only his fourth game after serving a suspension for instigating a fight with a teammate in the school library, helped close the books on No. 13-ranked Gonzaga's 12-game winning streak by coming off the bench Friday night to spark an 88-79 upset before a boisterous sellout crowd of 3,547 at Firestone Fieldhouse.

McGowan finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, and scored 15 in the second half when the Waves erased a two-point halftime deficit. His fallaway jump shot from the baseline gave Pepperdine the lead for good, 62-61, with 8:25 to play.

"He doesn't even know the plays yet," Coach Paul Westphal said. "He's got great athletic ability--he's a tank. He plays bigger than his size."

McGowan, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound sophomore, muscled inside for six of Pepperdine's 24 offensive rebounds. Although Gonzaga entered the game leading the nation with a plus-11.1 rebounding margin, the Waves held a 47-33 rebounding edge.

"I thought the key to the game was the student body and the way we rebounded," Westphal said. "Gonzaga is one of the best rebounding teams in the country and we dominated the boards."

The Waves needed every rebound in a game they shot 40% (30 for 75).

With its fifth consecutive victory, Pepperdine (10-6, 3-0) moved into sole possession of first place in the West Coast Conference and ended a three-game losing streak to Gonzaga (15-3, 2-1).

The Waves defended well against point guard Dan Dickau, holding the WCC's leading scorer to 15 points and forcing him into eight turnovers, although Bulldog Coach Mark Few disputed that number.

Freshman guard Terrance Johnson led Pepperdine with 21 points, including a three-point basket for a 76-66 lead with 3:34 to play. Forward Boomer Brazzle had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Jimmy Miggins scored 12, including the Waves' final field goal on a shot in the key with three minutes left, making the score, 78-68.

Pepperdine made 10 of 12 free throws in the final 1:55 to stave off the Bulldogs and set off a on-court celebration by students at the buzzer.

Gonzaga, which got a game-high 25 points from center Zach Gourde, closed the first half with a 7-0 run in the final 1:47 to take a 36-34 lead.

Pepperdine got off to a strong start with the help of some flashy plays, getting an ally-oop dunk from Johnson and two blocks from 6-foot-11 center Cedric Suitt in the first six minutes.

The Waves were more effective on the boards, getting 15 offensive rebounds in the first half to create second chances.

Dickau, who had five points in the first half, entered the game leading the WCC in scoring with a 19.4 average.

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