Pepperdine Uses Second Half Comeback to Defeat BYU


Jan 8, 2015; Provo, UT, USA; Pepperdine Waves guard Jeremy Major (3) tries to keep the ball away from Brigham Young Cougars guard Kyle Collinsworth (5) and guard Anson Winder (20) during the second half at Marriott Center. Pepperdine Waves won the game 67-61. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

One 3 point shot changed the entire game.  It might not have seemed that way at the time, but Shawn Olden’s long range shot at the end of the first half gave Pepperdine the surge they needed heading into the locker room.  Instead of being down by a daunting 16 points, they were within a manageable 13 points.  And in the second half, Stacy Davis and Jett Raines took over inside, once again illustrating the vulnerability of BYU’s interior defense without Nate Austin.  Those two Pepperdine bigs combined for 24 free throw attempts in the game, converting on 20 of them.  The Cougars simply gave up too many offensive rebounds, and as the momentum was shifting and the Waves crowd was getting into the game, not even a Dave Rose technical foul could turn things around for his team.

After the enormous 3 pointer by Pepperdine’s Amadi Udenyi, who hit four of those last year in Pepperdine’s win over BYU, the Waves were up by 4 points with 4:34 remaining, the Cougars never really came close to making this a game after that.  Pepperdine made all of their free throws down the stretch, and won the game easily in the final minute by defeating BYU 80-74.  The six point margin of victory doesn’t show that the game really was over in the final minute, as it took a Skyler Halford 3 pointer with 11 seconds left just to reach that outcome.

Tyler Haws scored 22 points to lead BYU but he missed 5 out of his last 6 shots when the Waves were making their second half run and BYU really needed some offense out of him.  Haws had difficulty finishing around the basket, and his catch and shoot threes weren’t falling either.  Anson Winder also had a tough time shooting the ball, going 4/13 from the field, but he did make 11/13 free throws to finish with 20 points.  Kyle Collinsworth played very well for the Cougars, attacking the basket for layups and dunks, and he finished with 13 points on 6/9 shooting to go with 10 rebounds, his 9th double-double of the season.  Skyler Halford also added 11 points on 4/5 shooting, but the Cougars did not get any unexpected offense from normally limited scorers.  With Chase Fischer out due to concussion like symptoms, BYU really needed someone like Toolson or Bartley to step up more on offense.

Pepperdine, on the other hand, did get an unexpected burst from Lamond Murray, Jr, who looked like his dad (who had an 11 year NBA career) out on the court.  Murray scored 18 points on 8/13 shooting and was key in Pepperdine’s second half comeback.  Stacy Davis led Pepperdine with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals, and Jett Raines added 14 points, all coming in the second half.  Amadi Udenyi had a career high 9 assists to go with only 3 turnovers.

A good sign for Pepperdine moving forward is that they actually expanded their lead in the second half when Stacy Davis was on the bench with 4 fouls, as the Waves have developed a wide variety of offensive options from both the inside and the outside.

Pepperdine will host San Diego on Saturday as the Waves try to strengthen their resume for the NIT.  BYU will try to bounce back on Saturday when they travel to LMU, to face off against Evan Payne and the Lions.