Pepperdine Struggles in CBI Loss to Seattle


It was about as bad a night as it could have been as Pepperdine fell 62-45 at Seattle on Wednesday night in the first round of the CIT Tournament. After the Waves skidded to the finish at the end of the regular, it’s a disappointing end for a season that once had much more potential.

Dec 19, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Redhawks guard Isiah Umipig (1) grabs a rebound in the second half against the Minnesota Gophers at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

After opening up an early 7-3 lead, the Waves saw Seattle come back and a take 15-8 after a 12-1 run. The Waves narrowed the gap to 29-24 at halftime, but a nearly seven minute scoring drought early in the second half sealed their fate. They went just 7-27 in the second half as Seattle built a double-digit lead and maintained it until the final buzzer.

In our preview for this game, we had two keys to victory for the Waves, and they failed at both. The first was to stop the Redhawks from making three pointers, which was based around the long range ability of top scorers Isiah Umipig and Jarell Flora. Normally for the Waves and their elite perimeter defense, this would be no problem. But in this game, nothing went right. The Redhawks hit 9 three pointers, and Umipig and Flora were dominant combining for 44 points, almost as much as the entire Pepperdine roster combined.

The second key was to dominate inside, a place where the Waves should have had an advantage with Stacy Davis and company that could cancel out the shooting of the Redhawks. But that was also a disaster. The Waves suffered their worst rebounding margin of the year at -18 for the game, and the duo of Davis and Jett Raines combined for just 11 points. With their two greatest strengths betraying them, the Waves struggled for almost the full 40 minutes.

Jeremy Major finished with a team-high 9 points for the Waves. Davis, Atif Russell, and Lamond Murray Jr. were the only other players with 5+ points. Davis and Raines tied for the team-high with 5 rebounds. And Major had a team-high 4 assists.

More from West Coast Convo

While the finish was a disappointment considering the great start, this still has to be considered a successful season for the Waves. This was their most overall wins since 2002 and their first season over .500 since 2005. With everyone expecting them to use this season for growth with all their players coming back next year, the Waves exceeded expectations and at times had themselves looking like they could compete with the best teams in the conference.

The postseason experience is a good thing, even if it was just one CBI game. This team will be much more seasoned next year, and even better than they were this year with some senior leadership to drive them. This is certainly a team on the rise that can use this season to vault them bigger and better things next year, and they will be a popular dark horse next year to challenge the top teams.