MALIBU – BYU’s hopes to end their three game skid in Malibu fell short Thursday as the Cougars fell to the Pepperdine Waves 99-83 behind 30 points from Lamond Murray Jr.
The Cougars struck first, but the Waves quickly gained ground and held control behind a combination of Murray and Elijah Lee who finished with 12 and 15 points in the first half.
Nick Emery and Elijah Bryant set the pace for the Cougars with 12 points apiece in the first half. Eric Mika was limited to just seven minutes in the first half after foul trouble holding his first half total to three points.
With limited help in the front court, BYU trailed 52-43 at the half.
BYU entered the second half with hopes to regain the lead. BYU started the half with a 7-2 run to cut the lead to four until Jeremy Major hit a triple to put it back out to seven on the next possession.
Clawing their way back, the Cougars were unable to hold much longer as a pair of buckets from Chris Reyes extended the lead out to ten and from there, the Waves never looked back.
Nick Emery led the Cougars with 19 points while Mika finished with 18 points after heading to the locker room early as he fouled out with 3:16 remaining. Elijah Bryant added 15 and TJ Haws chipped in 14.
Yoeli Childs joined Mika as he fouled out with 4:56 left in the contest. Childs finished the game with six points and seven boards.
The lack of depth in the front court saw Payton Dastrup enter the game and play twelve minutes and score a career high five points.
The Cougars started a line up of three sophomores and two freshman, the youngest starting line up for the Cougars since 1998. BYU was left without any juniors or seniors as LJ Rose stayed behind for a knee procedure to be performed the next day, and Corbin Kaufusi was held out with the flu.
The loss puts the Cougars in a tie for third place with San Francisco who they will travel to play on Saturday. That game will tip off at 9pm MT and can be heard on the Cougar IMG Sports Network (102.7 FM, 1160 AM, 143 SiriusXM) with the Voice of the Cougars Greg Wrubell on the call.