MALIBU, Calif. — BYU men’s basketball came up short against Pepperdine 99-83 Thursday night at the Firestone Fieldhouse.
“They were really efficient offensively,” BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "From the very beginning, our feet were slow and we weren't in position to attack them defensively. They were ready and they played that way. We were just trying to react to them instead of attacking and making it tough on them."
Pepperdine outshot BYU 58 percent to 48 percent and pulled down five more rebounds than the Cougars. Nick Emery led BYU with 19 points, including 12 in the first half. Eric Mika recorded 18 points, five rebounds and four blocks. TJ Haws added 14 points while Elijah Bryant had 15.
Both teams traded baskets in the first three minutes, leading to an 11-all tie. Pepperdine then went on a 9-0 run to take a nine-point 20-11 lead with 13:00 left in the half. A jumper from Payton Dastrup and a pair of 3-pointers from Bryant brought BYU within five, 24-19, with 11:43 on the clock.
The Waves led by double digits twice in the first half, 38-27 and 50-40, and the Cougars fought within five and four points, respectively. Dastrup hit a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in the half to close the gap from 10 points to seven, 50-43. BYU trailed 52-43 heading into halftime.
The Cougars came out of the locker room fighting as a layup from Haws, a 3-pointer from Emery and a perfect trip to the charity stripe from Yoeli Childs reduced the deficity to four, 54-50, with 18:58 left.
Pepperdine once again extended its lead to double digits. Mika scored 11-straight points for BYU in two and a half minutes of play as the Cougars trailed 72-62 with 13:42 on the clock.
The Waves led by as many as 17 points in the second half, but an offensive outburst from BYU cut the advantage in half. The Cougars came within nine points on a layup and dunk from Mika as well as a 3-pointer from Guinn, 83-74, with 7:44 left. Pepperdine quickly regained control and earned a 99-83 victory.
BYU will play San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m. PST. The game will be televised on Spectrum SN, ROOT NW and CSN California. It will also be broadcast on Cougar IMG Sports Network, KSL 1160 AM / 102.7 FM and BYU Radio - Sirius XM 143.