Arizona State beats Waves with 2nd half surge
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) With his Arizona State team trailing Pepperdine by seven points early in the second half, Shaquielle McKissic took over.
And the Sun Devils scored the next 15 points, rolling to an 81-74 victory on Saturday, their 14th-straight at home.
''We just made up in our minds that we're not losing,'' McKissic said.
McKissic had 22 points and 11 rebounds. He scored 16 and grabbed eight rebounds in the second half.
Coach Herb Sendek credited the second-half surge to ''the vibe I was getting from Shaq.''
''To me, that ignited us,'' Sendek said. ''Not only did it allow him to play well, but I think it spread through our team and gave us a sense of confidence. I just got the feeling as a coach that this guy is not going to let us lose today.''
Arizona State's Eric Jacobsen scored a career-high 20 and grabbed nine rebounds, seven on the offensive
Stacy Davis, from nearby Laveen, Arizona, led five Pepperdine players in double figures with 26 points, two shy of his career high. Jeremy Major and Atif Russell added 11 apiece for the Waves (5-2).
''Stacy showed a lot of maturity coming back home to a school that probably should have recruited him,'' Pepperdine coach Marty Wilson said. ''This was probably the most composed I've seen him play. He was aggressive and very productive.''
Gerry Blakes scored 16 and Tra Holder 15 for the Sun Devils.
Arizona State (6-3) never led until taking control with that 15-0 run midway through the second half.
The Sun Devils dominated at the foul line, going 34 for 48 to Pepperdine's 12 of 15.
''We were attacking today,'' Jacobsen said. ''Like Shaq, he was getting in the lane, man, and that's what we've got to do. They can't not call the foul.''
The Sun Devils finally got the lead 45-43 on Blakes' 3-pointer - their first in 10 tries - with 11:47 to play.
The basket was part of that 15-0 run that put Arizona State up 51-43 with 10:49 to go. Tra Holder capped the run by throwing the ball from out of bounds under the basket off the backside of Davis, then grabbed it for a layup.
The Waves cut the lead to 58-53 when Amadi Udenyi sank a 3 with 5:57 to play, but McKissic and Blakes each made a 3-pointer and Arizona State led 64-55 with 3:55 left. Pepperdine never seriously threatened again.
Arizona State trailed through most of the first half but tied it at 26-26 on McKissic's driving dunk with 3:17 left. The Sun Devils didn't make a field goal the rest of the half. The Waves led 31-29 at the break.
Pepperdine: The Waves' other loss was Nov. 24 at Iowa (74-62) ... Pepperdine still leads the series against Arizona State 11-8. .. Pepperdine entered the game leading the nation in 3-point defense (18.2 percent) The Sun Devils were 3-for-13 on 3s.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils last lost a home game on Jan. 2, 2014, against Washington ... Jacobsen's previous career high was 16 set against Hartford in 2012 and matched against UNLV this season. ... The Sun Devils went 6:02 without a field goal at the end of the first half and start of the second.
Arizona State gets some help up front when transfer Savon Goodman becomes eligible in the Sun Devils' next game.
The 6-foot-6, 215-pound former four-star recruit originally went to UNLV but left following his freshman season after his offseason arrest. He eventually pleaded guilty to theft and trespass charges. Goodman spent last season at Indian Hills Community College in Iowa but did not play.
McKissic said Goodman will bring ''toughness and grit.''
''He's not looking to score,'' McKissic said. ''He's looking to get rebounds, get guys open and just rough guys up. When you have that type of intimidation on the court, it's really good for our side.''
Sendek said simply that Goodman ''is a man.''
Pepperdine is home against South Alabama on Monday night.
Arizona State is at Marquette on Tuesday night.