GAME NOTES: The San Diego Toreros and Pepperdine Waves open their West Coast Conference schedules tonight, as they clash at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu.
San Diego comes into the contest having defeated Southern Utah, 67-52, last Saturday night. Johnny Dee scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed a season- best seven rebounds for the Toreros, who have won two of their last three outings. Christopher Anderson did a little bit of everything with 12 points, four rebounds, six assists and five steals, while Dennis Kramer tallied 15 points and eight boards for San Diego, which enters conference play with nine wins for the first time since opening up the 2006-07 season with a 9-5 mark.
San Diego has received balanced scoring from its starting five this season, as the quintet accounts for more than 80 percent of the team's points. Four of the starters are averaging in double digits, led by Dee's 17.7 ppg. Duda Sanadze adds 12.4 ppg, Anderson registers 11.3 ppg and Kramer averages 11.3 ppg. Anderson, a junior, also leads the WCC with 6.3 apg. The team averages more than 70 ppg and plays well at the defensive end, yielding just 61 ppg as opponents shoot just 37.7 percent from the floor.
This game marks the first of three straight on the road for the Toreros, who are 4-2 away from home this season. San Diego actually plays seven of its first nine WCC bouts on the road.
Pepperdine enters this fray having defeated Houston Baptist, 76-64, at home last Saturday. The Waves outscored their opponent 16-2 over the final three and a half minutes to come away with their second win in five outings.
Brendan Lane scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Stacy Davis also had 21 points and added 10 boards for Pepperdine, which improved to 3-2 at home this season.
Lane, a senior transfer from UCLA, is averaging 14.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per tilt, and he leads the WCC with 2.3 blocks per game. Lane only scored in double figures once in his three years with the Bruins, but did it in each of the first nine games this season, and has done it 10 times overall.
Davis, meanwhile, only reached the 20-point mark once as a freshman, but he's done so six times already this season en route to a team-high 16.3 ppg. The forward is just the second Wave to score at least 20 points in each of the first four games of the season in the last 31 years. He has posted two double- doubles in the last three games.
Although Pepperdine leads the all-time series against San Diego, winning 56 of the 96 previous matchups, the Toreros have dominated the Waves of late. San Diego has won six straight against Pepperdine over the last two seasons, including a pair of wins in the WCC Tournament.
Expect this meeting to be close throughout, but the balanced attack of the Toreros should be enough to help lead them to victory.
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