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BYU-Pepperdine Postgame Notes & Quotes


MALIBU, Calif. – The following notes are from BYU's 76-73 loss to Pepperdine on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, at the Firestone Fieldhouse.


BYU’s loss snaps a streak of three-straight wins in Malibu. The Cougars were also on a six-game win streak over the Waves, beating Pepperdine in eight out of the last nine matchups. In its 10 years of WCC play, BYU is 5-5 at Pepperdine. It is the Waves’ head coach Lorenzo Romar’s first win against BYU. He was previously 0-6, dating back to his time as a player at Pepperdine during the 1997-98 season.


First Half Shooting

BYU took a five-point advantage into the half, leading 37-32. The Cougars shot 48.3% from the field in the first half, tying the third best first half FG% of the season.

Spreading it Around & Sharing the Basketball

10 Cougars played in the first half, with eight of them scoring at least a field goal, and five players scoring 5+ points. BYU had seven assists on 14 field goals in the half.

Bench Play

The BYU bench outscored the Pepperdine bench 38-23. The Cougar bench went 13-18 from the field, with the starters going 12-39. Three BYU players who came off the bench finished in double figures: Spencer Johnson (15), Caleb Lohner (11), and Richard Harward (10).

Lead Changes

After BYU led (or tied) for majority of the game, Pepperdine took a 49-48 lead at the 12:14 mark of the second half. There would be nine lead changes in the half, including the Waves’ game-high lead of five. The Cougars lead for 28:06 of the game, while Pepperdine had only 6:56 of lead time.  This is the first game that BYU lost after leading at the half. The Cougars were previously 11-0 when leading at halftime this season.

Rebounds & Points in the Paint

Pepperdine outscored BYU in points in the paint, 44-40. This was the first game that the Cougars have been outscored in the paint since their loss at Gonzaga on Jan. 7, 2020. The Bulldogs scored 50 compared to BYU’s 44 in that matchup. Each team had also 36 total rebounds, marking the first time the Cougars haven’t out-rebounded their opponent since BYU’s win over Texas Southern on Dec. 21, 2020. The Tigers won the rebounding battle in that game 45-32.


Kolby from Three

Kolby Lee knocked down a triple early in the first half. It was Lee’s first made three-pointer since Utah on Dec. 12, 2020. Lee now has four treys on the year.

Lohner Leads

Caleb Lohner had a team-high 11 points on 3-4 shooting, 1-1 from three and 4-4 from the charity stripe in the first half.

Harward in Double Figures

Richard Harward finished with 10 points off the bench. It was the eight game this season that Harward has scored in double figures.

Johnson’s Scoring

Spencer Johnson added 15 points off the bench. This is Johnson’s second highest scoring total this season, who tallied 16 against Utah on Dec. 12, 2020.


Head coach Mark Pope

General thoughts on the game

"I'm super disappointed. Just a disgusting job coaching. Pepperdine is a really good team, we know that. They're really talented, they're extremely well-prepared and well-coached, Lorenzo does a great job. And I did a poor job tonight, so that's the end result."

On Pepperdine’s defense

“I was putting my guys in bad situations. I'm putting my guys in situations where they're trying to penetrate in the gap when there is no gap and that's a bad idea on my side. I'm getting guys post catches in the wrong position, with the wrong matchups and so that causes a little bit of problem. You know, I'm pushing these guys to go in transition when we shouldn't be, so most of that's on me. We just got to do better, and we will. The one thing we do is we focus on getting better, but yeah, the turnovers were a huge issue for us tonight. It's super discouraging, clearly an important part of the game and we just didn't manage it well, that's really on me.”

On the difference between Saturday night’s matchup against the Waves and this afternoon’s

“Two really identifiable things, you know, I put my guys in poor positions where it was hard to take care of the ball and then we didn't function very well, lineup wise, in terms of rebounding the ball down the stretch. Those are two really important things. And so we just kind of got stymied there. Those are two really basic, fundamental pillars of the game. If you don't do them well, you're not going to perform well, and I didn't help my guys do that very well tonight.”

Junior center Kolby Lee

On being unable to withstand Pepperdine’s second half run

“I think from the get-go, we got out-toughed. They were more physical than us, which should never happen, especially with our team this year. We have a lot of big bodies on this team and it's just not acceptable. Honestly, I think we got to look within ourselves and respond to it. Another thing is it's really tough to play a D1 team back-to-back, this close in the season. It's really hard to play a good team like this. Only very few teams do it, and we should have gotten it done tonight, but we didn't.”

On how he and the team will move on from this loss

“We're going to do what we do every single day, which is get better. Obviously, this one stinks for sure, so it hurts, but we're going to probably think about it on the flight home, and then, me personally, I'm going to be in the gym tonight. So that's how we got to respond, it's just get better every single day. Tomorrow when practices comes, we've got to hit it hard and get better at the things we need to do. Whoever we play next, they're going to get punched in the mouth. So we have to be able to respond, we have to just take it in, and do better.”

On offensive struggles

“A lot of the time in our offense, teams will deny the guards a catch. Our guards have to be more physical in the sense where they have to be able to get a catch, so they can come off and it opens up the floor for more screens. But if they don't get a catch, then we can't use the big's screens. And then in the post, offensively, I think this is one of the first games, I've haven't looked at the numbers yet but I'm almost positive that we got out-rebounded, like 100%. I don't know the last time we got out regarding the game, so from a big standpoint, I'm pissed off, because we usually out-rebound every single team we play and we take pride in that as bigs, so that's one thing that I'm super frustrated with.”