Based on the number of exciting plays made by Coach Paul Westphal's Pepperdine team against Dayton on Friday night, the Waves should be thrilling to watch this season.
But based on the number of easy inside baskets Pepperdine gave up in its 90-77 loss to Dayton at Firestone Fieldhouse, the Waves' interior defense will definitely need some work. It was the season opener for both schools.
Dayton, the defending Atlantic 10 Conference champion, had five players scoring in double figures. Point guard Ramod Marshall had a team-high 21 points, followed by 7-foot senior center Sean Finn, who scored 19.
Juniors Glen McGowan and Terrance Johnson led Pepperdine with 26 points each. McGowan scored 14 of his points in the first half, and Johnson's seven three-point baskets kept the Waves close.
"We got out of our rhythm as a team and lost our focus," Johnson said. "We weren't communicating well on defense."
Loyola Marymount 59, UC Riverside 53 -- Sherman Gay scored 15 points and blocked a crucial shot in the final minute to lead the Lions over the visiting Highlanders in the season opener for both teams. Kevin Butler led the Highlanders with 14 points.
San Diego State 74, Long Beach State 44 -- Freshman Marcus Slaughter scored a game-high 19 points and point guard Wesley Stokes had an impressive debut to lead the Aztecs over the 49ers at San Diego in the teams' season opener. Stokes, who sat out last season after transferring from Missouri, had 17 points and six assists.
Northern Arizona 77, Cal State Fullerton 60 -- Kodiak Yazzie scored 18 points to lead the Lumberjacks over the Titans at Flagstaff, Ariz., in both schools' season opener. Fullerton was led by Pape Sow, who scored 28 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
Cal State Northridge 88, Menlo College 64 -- Ian Boylan scored 22 points and the Matadors used a 24-3 second-half run to pull away from the visiting Oaks in the season opener for both teams.