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Lear, Christie Lead Waves Past Lafayette

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Pepperdine, which had lost three of four games in the past two weeks, pulled out of its tailspin Monday night, beating Lafayette, 76-63, before 1,047 at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu.

It took strong second-half efforts by Geoff Lear and Doug Christie to assure a Wave victory.

Lear was held to six points in the first half and found it hard to move inside against Lafayette’s collapsing zone defense.

But the Leopards’ defense suffered a few breakdowns after the half, and Lear exploited them, scoring 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half.

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The Waves’ Doug Christie, held to four points in the first half, finished with 16 points. But he committed eight turnovers.

And Pepperdine (7-4), which led at halftime, 27-22, pulled away from the Leopards (1-7).

Wave Coach Tom Asbury said Lafayette “played zone to keep it close and take the inside game away. I thought (Lear) played well under those conditions.”

Asbury said some of the Waves did not play very well, particularly in the first half.

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“I thought we turned the ball over way too much against the zone in the first half--not from lack of effort but from pressing,” Asbury said.

Asbury was asked if he thought his team would be ready to play at undefeated No. 4 Kansas Thursday and he said:

“I think so. I don’t know how well we’ll play. Kansas is a great basketball team, playing at its physical and emotional peak. We’re a good basketball team that is not playing at its peak.”

Keith Brazzo had 16 points, Craig White 15 and Larry Spigner 14 for Lafayette.

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