Pepperdine Wins Easily in Opener

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Pepperdine basketball team did everything as expected in its season opener against NCAA Division II San Francisco State on Saturday at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu.

The Waves rolled to an 86-49 victory over a team they were supposed to defeat handily.

Pepperdine Coach Tom Asbury was a little concerned going into the game because the Gators (1-1) had upset Cal State Bakersfield, defending NCAA Division II champion, in their opener last week.

But after a first half in which they played sloppily at times, the Waves had little difficulty in the second half.

Leading at halftime, 34-22, Pepperdine put the Gators away with a 13-2 run at the start of the second half.

"They're not a bad team," Asbury said. "They just got off to a poor start and we did a good job on their offense."

San Francisco State made 29% of its shots in the first half, making nine of 31, and 35% overall.

Meanwhile, Pepperdine made 55.6% of its shots in the first half.

The Waves were led by senior forward Dana Jones, last season's West Coast Conference player of the year. Jones scored 21 points, 17 in the first half, and also had a game-high 10 rebounds.

Guard Damin Lopez scored 12 points in the second half, making four three-point baskets, and finished with 17 points. Reserve center Gavin Vanderputten added 12 points.

Lawrence Williams led San Francisco State with 10 points.

"I think it was a good kind of game for us to have," Jones said. "It let us get our confidence up, and I saw some big improvement from our first couple of (exhibitions)."

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