But the Waves (3-4) were able to ride out the Bisons' game-opening emotional run, and soon rallied to score 12 points in a row to take a 34-23 lead with at the 7:00 mark of the half. The turning point was the institution of a 3/4-court press that forced 19 Bison turnovers.
Lipscomb fought valiantly, but was unable to consistently solve the press, as the Pepperdine lead remained in double-digits for the rest of the evening. The Waves hit 11 of 24 three-pointers, many of which stifled potential rallies.
Pepperdine's young but super-talented backcourt played perhaps its best combined game of the year. Sophomore Alex Acker played an outstanding all-around game with 19 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Freshman Shaun Davis registered 15 points and five assists. Combined, the two shot 13-18 from the field.
It is only a matter of time and exposure before the duo is acknowledged as one of the most dangerous guard combos in the West -- and in a couple of years, possibly the nation. They are already establishing themselves as the heart and soul of this deep, talented Pepperdine team.
Importantly, coach Paul Westphal was able to go deep into his bench in an effort to keep his top players fresh for the ever-important visit to Maryland on Sunday. Ten Waves saw action, nine of them playing 12 or more minutes and none more than 32. Every participant scored except Cody Horning, who did not even shoot.
Westphal was ejected from a game for the first time in his three-year tenure at Pepperdine. Upset about an official's decision to allow Lipscomb to inbound the ball before his team was ready following a time out, Westphal lit into the referees and drew his second technical foul of the evening, tossing him from the game. Figuring he might as well get his money's worth, he did not go quietly, earning a third technical for continuing to argue following the ejection.
After a couple of very disappointing early-season losses to local rivals UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Fullerton, Pepperdine looks to turn its season around with a visit to Maryland on Sunday. The Waves are riding a two-game winning streak for the first time this year. Maryland is coming off a huge road victory over #1 Florida on Wednesday evening.