Pepperdine, which led by 12 points in the first half and by six with 8:58 to play, went scoreless the final 3:12 in losing to Boise State, 66-56, Saturday night.
Boise State led, 57-56, when the Waves went cold. The Broncos then made eight of eight free throws to pull away. They made 25 of 32 foul shots in the game.
Pepperdine led, 52-46, when two three-point baskets by Boise State tied the score, 52-52, with 7:45 to play.
Pepperdine Coach Tom Asbury said: “Boise State’s pressure defense during the last eight minutes was the key to the game and helped get their crowd into the contest.
“I was pleased with how we handled the pressure. We were only down by two with 1:40 left and gave them a good battle.
“This was a good learning experience for our young team.”
Sophomore center Tanoka Beard scored 22 points and senior guard Jeff Sanor added 18 for the Broncos (5-1) of the Big Sky Conference.
Pepperdine (5-3) led, 28-16, with 3:35 left in the first half, but Boise State outscored the Waves, 15-5, to pull within 33-31 by halftime.
Despite foul troubles by Geoff Lear and Doug Christie, the Waves managed to take six-point leads on six occasions in the second half. But the Broncos went on a 14-2 run, taking the lead for good at 55-54 with a three-pointer by Michael Trotter with 6:39 to play.
Christie, a junior guard, led the Waves with 17 points, including 11 in first half. Reserve forward Steve Guild, a sophomore, added 12. Lear, the Waves’ second-leading scorer with a 16.4-point average coming into the game, had 10, including only two in the second half.
Things won’t get any easier for the Waves, who play unbeaten UCLA Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion.