Pepperdine to Face No. 6 North Carolina

Pepperdine’s basketball team, continuing its tough nonconference schedule, will play host to sixth-ranked North Carolina at 7 tonight at Firestone Fieldhouse.

The Waves (8-5), who have won 8 of their last 11 games, have returned from a trip to Las Vegas, where they defeated Hartford, 82-62, and lost to 12th-ranked Nevada Las Vegas, 88-56. North Carolina (11-1) has won 9 straight games and is coming off a 103-92 road victory over San Diego State.

The Tar Heels are led by junior guard Kevin Madden, who is averaging 17.3 points and shooting 61.2% from the field, and senior guard Jeff Lebo, an excellent 3-point shooter who is averaging 15.8 points. Junior forward Scott Williams is averaging 13 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds, and All-American junior center J.R. Reid is averaging 11 points and 3.7 rebounds since returning from foot surgery Oct. 29.


Against San Diego State, Reid started and had 17 points and 4 rebounds in 25 minutes. Reid, playing in only his third game of the season, got his first start because Williams, a graduate of Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, was sidelined with a sore ankle. Williams is expected to play on a limited basis tonight.

Pepperdine junior forwards Dexter Howard, averaging 19.5 points, and Tom Lewis, averaging 16.8, lead the Waves. Lewis reportedly has recovered from a bruised knee that he injured in a fall against Nevada Las Vegas.