The Pepperdine Waves and Pacific Tigers tipped off the 2019 WCC Tournament at the Orleans Arena. The Waves erased a 12-point second half deficit to pick up their first win against Pacific since February 4, 2017.
Despite being the lower seed, Pacific looked to be in control of the game for the first 30 minutes, dictating the tempo and disrupting Pepperdine’s offense by effectively locking down Colbey Ross. Before Pepperdine made its big push in the final 10 minutes, Ross was 1-10 from the field and 0-6 from the three-point line. He ultimately finished the game with 14 points, but only 3 assists to 4 turnovers as Pacific was double-teaming him early and often to force the ball out of his hands. With so much attention on Ross, freshman guard Darryl Polk Jr. had a big game off the bench for the Waves and contributed a career high 15 points on 4-5 shooting. It is only the second time all season that Polk scored in double figures. Pacific’s Jeremiah Bailey led all scorers with 22 points, but it wasn’t enough to push the Tigers into the next round.
While Pepperdine is surely thrilled to advance and play LMU on Friday night, the victory was marred by a scary injury to freshman forward Andre Ball who suffered an apparent neck injury on an alley-oop attempt and had to be stretchered off the floor. Ball appeared to have movement in his hands and feet following the accident, and is hopefully okay though his status for the remainder of the tournament is up in the air.
In the second game, the San Diego Toreros used a dominant second half to propel them to their first win at the WCC Tournament since 2013. For the Portland Pilots, the 67-47 loss ensured a winless season in WCC competition. While Portland actually held a lead as large as five points in the first half, USD held the Pilots scoreless for nearly nine minutes to start the second half and saw five players score in double figures led by Isaiah Pineiro’s 16 points and 10 rebounds. San Diego will play Santa Clara on Friday night at 8:00 pm PT.