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Waves Defeat Fresno State, Spoil Colson’s Homecoming

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It had been nearly 15 years since Gary Colson last coached a basketball game at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu. And after Wednesday night’s game, the Fresno State coach, who coached Pepperdine from 1968-79, probably wished he had waited a little longer.

The Waves beat Colson’s Bulldogs in a nonconference game, 70-65, leaving Colson with mixed feelings about homecomings.

“It was nice to see my kids show up and a lot of teachers were here,” Colson said. “But we had another homecoming last year at New Mexico (where he coached eight seasons) and we lost, too. So no more homecomings for me.”

Pepperdine’s record improved to 2-0, behind two familiar contributors, forward Dana Jones and guard Damin Lopez.

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Jones scored 10 of his team-leading 18 points in the first 20 minutes as Pepperdine took a 39-29 halftime lead over the Bulldogs (1-1). Lopez had 13 points and some key free throws down the stretch.

Fresno had its chances, cutting Pepperdine’s advantage to 66-63 on a layup by guard Carl Ray Harris with 56 seconds remaining. But Harris gave it back with 25 seconds remaining, when he fouled Lopez well beyond the top of the key, and Lopez sank both ends of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity for a clinching 68-63 lead.

“It’s hard to gauge a game this early in the season, but they’re a pretty good ballclub,” said Tom Asbury, Pepperdine’s coach. “After we got up early on them, I knew they’d be back.”


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