UNR: Pepperdine beats Nevada 76-75 in NIT | NevadaAppeal.com

UNR: Pepperdine beats Nevada 76-75 in NIT

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Mychel Thompson looked around at the mostly empty stands at Pauley Pavilion and decided to put on a show.

Thompson scored a career-high 34 points and Pepperdine held off Nevada 76-75 in the second round of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Tuesday night.

“I wanted to make it exciting since there weren’t that many fans in the stands,” he said. “It’s amazing that we got this win. We just kept fighting.”

Keion Bell added 16 points despite injuring his thumb a night earlier for the Waves (1-2), who lost their opening game to UCLA a night earlier.

“Down the stretch, we played with a lot of poise,” Waves coach Tom Asbury said. “Our experience showed and their lack of experience showed as well. I feel like we should be 2-1 right now.”

Dario Hunt scored 16 points, and Malik Story and Jordan Burris added 15 each for the Wolf Pack (1-2), who lost their opening game to Pacific. Burris set a career scoring high, while Deonte Burton had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

“We were playing not to lose instead of playing to win,” Nevada coach David Carter said.

Pepperdine’s Jonathan Dupre tied the game at 74-all on a fastbreak layup with 1:43 remaining. After a Nevada timeout, Thompson stole the ball and scored in the lane to give the Waves their first lead of the second half at 76-74 with 1:02 to play.

“I learned from this game that I just have to stay aggressive,” said Thompson, whose father Mychal Thompson played for the Los Angeles Lakers. “Sometimes I am too passive, I guess that is just my personality.”

Burton missed the first free throw and made the second to leave Nevada trailing 76-75 with 43 seconds left. Burton took the Wolf Pack’s final shot from the left corner, but the ball hit the side of the backboard as time expired.

“They were killing us on loose balls and hustle plays,” Burton said. “Those things don’t show up in the stats, but they killed us on them. We can’t use, ‘Oh, we’re young and we’re growing’ as an excuse because it will start to get old. We had them on the ropes, but we didn’t knock them out.”

The game was tied 46-46 at halftime, then Nevada opened the second half on a 14-4 run to take a 60-50 lead. Story and Burris capped the spurt with back-to-back 3-pointers.

Pepperdine answered with 10 straight points, including five by Lorne Jackson, to close to 60-59.

Thompson then scored the Waves’ next 13 points and Dupre’s layup tied it up.