Morrison, Gonzaga pull past Pepperdine
Malibu, CA (Sports Network) – Adam Morrison netted 26 points on 7-of-17
shooting from the floor, as the fifth-ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs remained hot
with a 81-71 victory over the Pepperdine Waves at the Firestone Fieldhouse in
West Coast Conference action.
J.P. Batista had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds for Gonzaga
(23-3, 12-0 WCC), which has won 14 games in a row and outright clinched its
sixth consecutive league title.
Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes added 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the
field and was 4-of-5 from beyond the arc in the victory.
Tashaan Forehan-Kelly led Pepperdine (7-17, 3-9) with 25 points and seven
rebounds, as the Waves lost their fifth consecutive game. Kingsley Costain
netted 12 points in the loss.
Pepperdine used a 10-1 run early in the first half to take a 17-8 lead.
Russell Hicks hit back-to-back jumpers to cap the spurt.
With just under seven minutes to play in the opening half, Altidor-Cespedes
drilled a three-pointer that capped a 10-2 surge by the Bulldogs and pushed
them ahead 24-21.
After taking the lead, the Zags never relinquished it the rest of the way.
Morrison hit his first field goal of the game with 3:12 remaining until
halftime, and followed with a trey off the left wing for a 35-28 Gonzaga
advantage. He closed out the first half with a long jump shot as the Zags
headed into the break with a 39-32 lead.
Morrison struggled in the opening half, going 3-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-7
from the charity stripe for 10 points.
Forehan-Kelly had a nice opening twenty minutes for Pepperdine netting 15
points and pulling down six rebounds.
In the second half, the Zags continued to run in front. With 9:18 remaining,
Derek Raivio’s three-pointer capped an 8-0 spurt for the Bulldogs and gave
them a 12-point lead at 60-48.
With just under six minutes to go, Costain drained a three-pointer from the
left corner to make it a seven-point game at 67-60.
After Costain’s trey, the Bulldogs pulled away and scored seven straight
points to go up by 14-points at 74-60 with around 3 1/2 minutes left in the
Morrison entered the game as the nation’s leading scorer, averaging 29.4
points per game. He was 11-of-17 from the free throw line…Gonzaga improved
to 8-2 on the road this season…Raivio finished with 12 points for the
Bulldogs…Pepperdine dropped to 6-6 at home this season and still own a
narrow 31-30 edge in the all-time series…Gonzaga rolled to a 102-73 victory
over Pepperdine earlier this season on January 14.