Pepperdine led No. 4 Kansas for more than 32 minutes Thursday night before falling in overtime, 79-73, in front of a sellout crowd of 15,800 at Allen Fieldhouse.
Derek Noether's dunk shot gave Pepperdine a 13-12 lead with 15:20 left in the first half. The Waves (7-5) did not surrender that lead until Alonzo Jamison sank two free throws with 2:13 to play in the second half as the Jayhawks moved ahead, 66-64.
Steve Guild's layup off a fast break later put the Waves ahead, 68-66, but Steve Woodberry tied the score on a five-foot baseline shot. Woodberry was fouled on the play but missed the free throw with 46 seconds left and the game went into overtime.
Jamison, stymied inside much of the game by a zone defense, scored the first two baskets in overtime, one on a dunk and the other on a short jump shot, giving the Jayhawks (9-0) a 72-68 lead.
Pepperdine regained the lead for the last time, 73-72, when Dana Jones made a driving layup.
Richard Scott made one of two free throws for the game's last tie, 73-73.
But the Waves began committing turnovers, and Kansas took advantage of the mistakes to score the last six points of the game.
Kansas, which had a 29-point average victory margin before the game, won for the 24th consecutive time at home.
Pepperdine Coach Tom Asbury called it "just another game to prepare us for conference play," but he was grinning tightly as he said it.
"We haven't been a good basketball team in the last month," Asbury said. "This should serve as a wakeup call that we could be a good team."
Doug Christie, who led all scorers with 22 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds , said that though the Waves played well, "it wasn't exactly a lift.
"Although no one in our league is as good as KU, league play is hard," he said. "That's one aspect that this game will definitely help."
Asbury said Pepperdine's "interior defensive zone broke down (late in the game), and we allowed Jamison some easy points. We (also) got tired and made some ballhandling mistakes."
Kansas Coach Roy Williams said he wasn't happy with his coaching during the game. "I told the players you have to win games like that despite the coaching," he said. "They bailed us out tonight."
Jamison did much of the bailing. He finished with 13 points and tied his school record with eight steals. Adonis Jordan added 15 points and five steals, Scott scored 15 points and Rex Walters had 13 for the Jayhawks.
Geoff Lear had 14 points, Jones 12 and Damin Lopez 10 for Pepperdine.