RTC Live: St. Mary’s @ PepperdinePosted by rtmsf on January 8th, 2011
Game #98. St. Mary’s goes on the road in the WCC where things are always dangerous tonight.
RTC Live is headed to Malibu for its first-ever game at Pepperdine’s Firestone Fieldhouse, as the Waves host red-hot St. Mary’s in a Saturday evening matinee. The Gaels and their head coach, former Pepperdine assistant coach Randy Bennett, roll into Malibu sporting a 13-2 record after handling Loyola Marymount easily, 98-75, in their Thursday night West Coast Conference-opener. Six Gaels scored in double figures, while the team as a whole posted an impressive 70.3 effective field goal percentage. WCC Player of the Week Mickey McConnell led the way with 21 points (on 8/9 shooting, including 3/4 from behind the arc) and eight assists, while Rob Jones added 20 points and nine rebounds and Matthew Dellavedova chipped in another ten points along with nine assists. For Pepperdine (7-11, 1-0), they’ve posted two-straight 20-point victories, including a 75-55 win over San Diego in their first WCC contest. Junior guard Lorne Jackson busted out with a career-high 26 points, just one game after becoming the first Wave since Doug Christie in 1991 to post a 20-point and 10-assist game (Jackson had 23/10 against Seattle). The WCC’s leading scorer, Pepperdine’s junior guard Keion Bell, has missed the Waves’ last two games with an ankle injury, and is still questionable for this game with St. Mary’s, a definite concern for head coach Tom Asbury, as the Waves will need all the help they can get. One area Pepperdine could hope to exploit is SMC’s potential weakness on the defensive glass. Against LMU on Thursday, the Gaels only rebounded 50% of the available defensive rebounds, so if Wave senior forward Mychel Thompson can get to work on the glass (where he has grabbed ten rebounds in each of the last two games and 5.8 per game on the season), perhaps Pepperdine can break SMC’s six-game win streak in this series.