Pepperdine Beats Santa Clara for 12th Win in a Row, 77-66

From Staff and Wire Reports

Pepperdine stretched its winning streak to 12 games, second in the nation to Nevada Las Vegas' 35, with a 77-66 West Coast Conference victory over Santa Clara Thursday night at Santa Clara.

Geoff Lear scored a career-high 29 points and had 13 rebounds for the Waves (18-8 overall, 12-1 in the WCC). Pepperdine swept the Broncos (16-11, 7-6) for the first time since the 1985-86 season and broke a four-game losing streak at Toso Pavilion.

Pepperdine held a 52-51 lead with 9:18 remaining, then took control with a 13-3 run in the next four minutes. Lear had eight of the 13 points.

Pepperdine, which clinched the WCC regular-season title last week, equaled the third-longest winning streak in school history. The Waves won 17 in a row during the 1950-51 season, 15 in a row in 1981-82 and 12 consecutive games in 1951-52.

"I was worried about having a mental letdown after clinching the title, but these guys have tremendous pride in themselves," Pepperdine Coach Tom Asbury said.

"They realize what is at stake on this trip. We want to win as many games as we can to help our chances of advancing to a post-season tournament."

Ron Reis scored 23 points and had seven rebounds for Santa Clara. Rhea Taylor added 17.

The Waves played without starting center Derek Noether, who sprained his right ankle during practice Tuesday. The Broncos were without starting guard Melvin Chinn, who had the flu.

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