Chase Griffin notched 13 points for the Waves, including 8-9 free throws that helped keep the Pilots at bay late. Grubb easily registered the best game of his promising young career with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Shaun Davis had an off shooting night but finished with five points and six assists.
The Fieldhouse crowd relentlessly booed Pilots guard Casey Frandsen after Frandsen committed a hard foul in transition, knocking down McGowan on McGowan's attempted layup. Though it's difficult to imagine the slight Frandsen doing much damage to McGowan, the crowd added needed energy to a game that lacked rhythm thanks to 76 combined free throw attempts.
Pepperdine finally found an opponent it could beat up inside. The team outrebounded Portland 49-35 and took the ball to the hoop regularly instead of settling for outside jumpers.
This week, the WCC has exhibited what a bright future it has in two games at Firestone Fieldhouse. Freshmen like Portland's Jeter, Gonzaga's Adam Morrison, and Pepperdine's Davis already rank among the conference's best and most productive players. Watching this group battle for four years will be great fun for fans.
The Waves hope to put the indignity of the recent losing streak behind them and build some positive momentum when they continue conference play on the road next weekend against lowly San Diego and always-tough Santa Clara.