Pepperdine Scrambles to Overtake St. Mary’s of Texas

Times Staff Writer

Pepperdine didn’t win pretty Wednesday night, but it won. The Waves defeated St. Mary’s of Texas, 69-60, in a sloppy game before about 1,000 fans at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu.

Pepperdine raised its record to 2-1. St. Mary’s, an NAIA school, dropped to 2-1.

It could be that Pepperdine, after losing to Kansas and beating Washington State, thought the St. Mary’s Rattlers were pushovers. But the Waves nearly fell on their faces before putting away St. Mary’s.

The Rattlers outscrapped Pepperdine in the early going and got out to a 22-17 lead with 5:10 remaining in the first half.


Then the Waves began playing as they can and ran off 15 straight points in the next 4 1/2 minutes en route to a 32-24 halftime lead.

Early in the second half, St. Mary’s cut the lead to 38-34. But Pepperdine went on a 22-9 spurt in the next 10 minutes that put the game out of reach.

Until that time the game had been full of mistakes of every variety. The Rattlers hustled so much that they committed a rash of turnovers and made some fouls that could have passed for clipping penalties.

The Waves also seemed to catch a kind of mistake fever from St. Mary’s and also fouled a lot.

There were 45 personal fouls called in the game, but only one technical--on Pepperdine’s Anthony Frederick for hanging on the rim.

St. Mary’s committed 15 turnovers to Pepperdine’s 21.

Eric White led Pepperdine with 18 points. Three other Waves scored in double figures--Dwayne Polee (11), Grant Gondrezick (10), and Frederick (10). Pete Hansen scored a team-high 17 points for St. Mary’s.