SAN DIEGO — Senior center Brad Greene scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds for UC Irvine, but Kessler Edwards had 20 points of his own to lead five Pepperdine players in double figures as the Waves defeated the Anteaters 86-72 in a nonconference season opener on Wednesday at San Diego State.
UCI led for much of the first half, but Pepperdine closed the half on an 18-6 run (6-0 in the final minute-plus) to take a 41-36 lead at halftime.
Colbey Ross hit a pair of jumpers as the Waves scored the first seven points of the second half, extending their lead to 48-36. The lead grew to 20 points with 11½ minutes left and Pepperdine led by as many as 23 while shooting 59.4 percent in the second half on its way to a resounding victory.
Freshman guard Dawson Baker (Capistrano Valley High) had 13 points and six assists for UCI, while junior forward Collin Welp had 11 points and five rebounds. Freshman center Emmanuel Tshimanga had seven points and three rebounds in 11 minutes, and freshman guard DJ Davis added seven points.
Ross, a senior guard, finished with 13 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Pepperdine. Junior guard Jade’ Smith had 13 points, seven rebounds and two steals, and sophomore forward Jan Zidek added 12 points off the bench. Graduate transfer forward Kene Chukwuka had 10 points, three rebounds and two blocked shots in his Waves debut. Edwards, a junior forward from Etiwanda High in Rancho Cucamonga, added seven rebounds.
Pepperdine shot 50 percent from the field and went 14 for 15 from the free-throw line. UCI shot 39.1 percent and wen 12 for 14 from the free-throw line.
Pepperdine beat UCI for the fifth consecutive time and now leads the all-time series 14-10.
UCI remains in San Diego to face host San Diego State on Friday at 4 p.m.
Pepperdine faces No. 22 UCLA on Friday at noon, also at SDSU.
The post UC Irvine can’t keep up with Pepperdine in season opener appeared first on 247 News Around The World.