Forward Yakhouba Diawara had 30 points and 10 rebounds Thursday night as Pepperdine rallied for an 86-82 West Coast Conference victory over Saint Mary’s at Firestone Fieldhouse.
Glen McGowan added 15 points and Alex Acker and Terrance Johnson scored 12 apiece for Pepperdine.
Diawara, who joined the starting lineup two weeks ago, made five free throws in the final 22 seconds as the Waves (9-12, 4-2 in WCC) won their third in a row. The Gaels (12-8, 3-2) were in control for most of the first half, making 10 of 14 three-point shots.
Saint Mary’s shot 64.3% from the field, including 13 of 23 from three-point range.
But Saint Mary’s turned the ball over 23 times and Pepperdine capitalized, scoring 24 points off the miscues.
The Waves caught the Gaels, 57-57, on a three-point basket by freshman guard Shaun Davis with 11:02 to play. Reserve forward Keith Jarbo tipped in a missed layup by Diawara for a 71-69 lead with 5:21 to play and the Waves never trailed again.
San Francisco 64, Loyola Marymount 52 -- The Dons used balanced scoring and pressing defense to earn their first WCC road victory in front of 1,639 at Gersten Pavilion.
San Francisco (13-9, 3-3 in WCC) was led by guard Jovan Harris, who scored a team-high 13 points. Tyrone Riley had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
“We’re going to win ugly because we try and guard you,” said San Francisco Coach Phil Mathews, whose team won the rebounding battle, 39-26, and forced Loyola Marymount into 17 turnovers. “I think our pressure bothered them.”
The Lions (10-9, 1-5) committed four turnovers in the game’s first three minutes. It helped the Dons, who shot 50% from the field, take a 35-29 lead at halftime.
San Francisco broke the game open early in the second half with James Bayless and Riley scoring uncontested baskets inside.
Loyola Marymount, which has not won at home in three WCC games, was led by senior Sherman Gay, who had 14 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.
UC Santa Barbara 66, UC Riverside 52 -- Branduinn Fullove bounced back from his worst offensive game of the season with a game-high 19 points in the Gauchos’ Big West victory before 1,843 at the Thunderdome in Goleta.
Fullove, the reigning conference player of the year, had only one point in Santa Barbara’s 20-point loss Saturday at Pacific. Against Riverside, the senior shooting guard scored eight points in the first 3 1/2 minutes and made six of 12 shots.
“We obviously just wanted to come back and put a good performance together,” Fullove said. “The other night, that’s not how we play. We honestly felt bad going up there and not even giving ourselves a chance so we wanted to come out and be sharp and crisp.”
Santa Barbara (11-6, 5-3 Big West) took charge with a 10-2 run at the beginning of the second half. The Gauchos had a decisive 45-19 rebounding advantage as Bray Skultety and Bryan Whitehead had nine apiece. They also helped to contain Riverside’s inside combination of Nate Carter and Vili Morton.
Carter had 12 points but Morton took only three shots and had four points and two rebounds. The Gauchos dared Riverside (6-10, 3-5) to shoot from the outside and the Highlanders made only seven of 28 three-point attempts.
Utah State 57, UC Irvine 48 -- Cardell Butler scored 22 points at Logan, Utah, as the Aggies won their 13th in a row.
Irvine (9-8, 4-4 Big West) trailed by three with only a minute left but Butler made a three-point basket with just over 40 seconds left and Nate Harris scored three points as the Aggies (16-1, 8-0 Big West) secured the victory.
Harris scored 12 points for the Aggies.
Mike Efevberha led Irvine (9-8, 4-4) with 14 points and Adam Parada had nine points and 11 rebounds.
Utah State trailed by as many as 10 in the first half but rallied by holding Irvine scoreless in the last 4:52. Two free throws by Spencer Nelson with just over a minute to play tied the score at 22.
Irvine outrebounded Utah State, 39-34.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 80, Cal State Fullerton 71 -- Shane Schilling had 23 points at San Luis Obispo as the Mustangs ended a losing streak at four games.
Cal Poly (7-9, 2-6 Big West) never trailed after taking an 11-9 lead after four minutes of play.
Fullerton (6-11, 2-6) threatened with a 10-2 run before Cal Poly closed with a 15-10 run to secure the victory.
Cal Poly’s Varnie Dennis had 19 points and made nine of 11 free throws. Dennis also held Fullerton’s leading scorer, Pape Sow, scoreless in the second half. Sow finished with 13 points.
Fullerton’s Anthony Bolton, cleared to play after eligibility issues were cleared up, finished with 11 points.
Long Beach State 64, Idaho 60 -- Kevin Roberts scored a game-high 22 points and put the 49ers ahead to stay with a rebound basket and free throw with one minute remaining at Moscow, Idaho.
Long Beach (6-11, 4-4 Big West) earned its first conference road victory after trailing by seven points with 5:03 to play against the Vandals (5-12, 2-6).
Long Beach’s Jibril Hodges, who finished with 13 points, scored five of his points in the 49ers’ 15-4 scoring run to end the game. Tanoris Shepard scored 13 points for Idaho, which suffered its second consecutive conference home loss.
-- Associated Press