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What you need to know: BYU vs Pepperdine preview

After a comeback victory in against LMU, the Cougars are looking for a weekend sweep.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The History

The BYU Cougars and the Pepperdine Waves have meet on the hardcourt 16 times since 1944 with BYU winning 9 of them. The Cougars were swept by the Waves last season and will be looking to get some revenge this year.

Provo, UT 2015 (67-61 Loss)

Even behind 26 points from Tyler Haws, the Cougars found themselves in a hole that they couldn't get themselves out of. Only two Cougars reached double digit scoring as Anson Winder contributed 16 points in the loss. BYU fell behind early as they didn't score for the first two minutes and then allowed the Waves to build a 22-13 lead. BYU would make a run near the end of the half as they pulled within seven but ended up down 10 at halftime. BYU wouldn't take their first free throws of the game until eight minutes into the second half and but BYU could only never quite make the comeback as they found themselves down one with two minutes left in the game. The Cougars never led as they dropped the game 67-61.

Malibu, CA 2015 (80-74)

In the second game between the schools the Cougars had two players score 20 points or more as Haws scored 22 while Anson Winder scored 20. However, the 42 points ended up being more than half of the Cougars points as they fell for the second time to the Waves. The Cougars took the lead in the first half as they led by 13 on a couple of occasions, even taking a 38-25 lead into the half. The second half would be a different story as the Waves continued to pound the Cougars and found their way back into the game and took the lead with less than 10 minutes to go in the game. At that point they wouldn't relinquish the lead again and held on for the 80-74 win.

The Outlook

The Cougars came off a disappointing loss with a comeback win over the Loyola Marymount Lions. The Cougars looked lost defensively in the first half but came back in the second to keep the Lions to 30 points to the Cougars 51. Another slow start almost doomed the Cougars but they pulled it out one more time.

The Positives

The Cougars once again had a good offensive game as they scored 91 in the win. The big stat of the game was the 28 assists that the Cougars recorded, 15 coming from Kyle Collinsworth. The Cougars shared the ball, found the open man, and hit key shots from the extra pass. If the Cougars had hit a few more shots the Cougars would have even had more, but 28 is a number to be pleased with. Oh, and by the way, Collinsworth once again recorded a triple double for his 10th career triple double. Just another day at the office it seems.

The Negatives

BYU needs to figure out how to defend the three. The Lions shot a scorching 50% from behind the three point line as they hit 11 of 22. Very few of the shots were defended, and even fewer were shots that were made. When the Cougars got a hand in the face it made a difference. They just didn't do it enough in the first half. The second half turned out much better as they held the Lions to 2 of 11 after giving up 9 of 11 in half number one. Leaving the shooters open behind the arc is a death sentence and the Cougars were lucky to get away with it this time.

The Keys to Watch

When the Waves have the ball:

Watch for the Waves to spread the ball around on offense and look for a number of players to score. The Waves have six players that score seven or more points per game with Lamond Murray Jr. leading the way at 15.3 points per game. Three other players score in double digits with Stacy Davis getting 13.7, Jett Raines with 11.7, and Jeremy Major at 10. Along with sharing the scoring, the team also spreads the wealth when it comes to assists as five players average at least two per game. Watch for the Waves to make the extra pass to get the better shot and force the Cougars to defend the entire floor in an attempt to wear out the Cougars on defense.

Watch for the Cougars to get their hands in the passing lanes, building on the Waves 11 turnovers per game, as they attempt to keep up with the Waves offense as they share the ball. Watch for the main defensive focus to be playing physical and putting the Waves to the line instead of giving up an easy shot. The Waves average 68% from the free throw line and the Cougars will try and take advantage of that.

When the Cougars have the ball:

Watch for the Cougars to continue their inside out play as they look for the three ball, but only after drawing the defense into the middle. Kyle Davis is continuing to draw defenders as they try to stop his scoring in the paint, leaving other players open for the kick out and extra passes for the open shots. Watch for the Cougars to continue to fight for the offensive rebounds, giving the shooters extra chances at scoring.

Watch for the Waves to defend the three as they can't afford to give Nick Emery, Zac Seljaas, and Chase Fischer the opportunity to shoot undefended from behind the arc. Watch for the interior defenders to try and draw charges as the Cougars try to slash their way to the basket, trying to take away a big part of the Cougars inside game.

The Broadcasting Details

Time: 6 pm MST


Where: Firestone Fieldhouse-Malibu, CA

Radio (BYU): KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM, BYU Radio-Sirius XM 143

Listen Live via Internet (KSL): Click Here