Asbury will be hired as coach at Pepperdine

Pepperdine plans to introduce -- make that re-introduce -- Tom Asbury as its coach at a 1 p.m. Wednesday news conference, a university source said.

Asbury last coached at the school in 1994, taking the Waves to the NCAA tournament three times in his six seasons and guiding them to a 38-game conference winning streak. He also was an assistant at the school under Jim Harrick from 1979 to 1988.

Asbury, 62, said last week his discussions with the school included the topic of a possible successor, since "I'm not going to be there 10 years."

Although there was no succession plan written into the contract, Utah assistant coach Marty Wilson told the Salt Lake Tribune he would meet with Asbury about becoming a Pepperdine assistant with the idea he would probably succeed him at the Malibu school whenever Asbury retired.

Wilson, a former Pepperdine player and assistant, was briefly the interim coach at the school at 28 during the 1995-96 season after Tony Fuller resigned.

The plan this season is for Eric Bridgeland, the interim coach after the resignation of Vance Walberg, to finish the season before Asbury takes over.

The Waves had won two games in a row before losing to No. 23 St. Mary's, 100-64, Monday at Firestone Fieldhouse.

Patrick Mills scored 18 points to lead St. Mary's (23-3 overall, 10-1 in the West Coast Conference). Mychel Thompson and Ryan Holmes each had 14 for Pepperdine (9-18, 3-8).

-- Robyn Norwood

Santa Clara 66, Loyola Marymount 46 -- John Bryant scored a career-high 36 points to lead the Broncos (13-12, 5-5) in a WCC game at Loyola. Tim Diederichs scored 14 points to lead the Lions (5-22, 2-9).

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Though two teams ranked above UCLA lost last week, the Bruins (22-3, 10-2 in the Pacific 10 Conference) were unable to advance in the rankings, remaining sixth in the Associated Press media poll and the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll.

While the Bruins beat USC, 56-46, Sunday in their only game in this polling period, Duke stayed ahead of UCLA in the rankings after a loss to Wake Forest.

The Blue Devils dropped from second to fifth in AP and second to fourth in the coaches poll; Kansas, which lost to Texas, dropped from third to fourth in AP and third to fifth in the coaches' poll.

-- Diane Pucin

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