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What you need to Know: BYU vs Pepperdine (Basketball Edition)

Monday night BYU visits Pepperdine hoping to play better than they did in its previous visit. The Cougars look to win on the road as they shoot for a WCC title.

Matt Carlino against Baylor
Matt Carlino against Baylor

The History

When BYU and Pepperdine meet on Monday night, it will be for the 13th time with BYU holding an 8-4 advantage. The first game took place in 1944 while the conference foes have met twice a year since the Cougars joined the WCC.

Provo, UT 2013 (7-4)

Led by Tyler Haws and his 24 points, the Cougars overcame a halftime deficit to beat the Wave 76-51. BYU shot only 28 percent from the field in the first half which led to a five point lead for Pepperdine at 35-30. With 14 minutes left in the game, BYU took their first lead in over 20 minutes when Carlino hit a 3-point shot to put Cougars up 40-39. After a 12-0 run and a 6-0 run, the Cougars turned the lead into double digits and didn't look back.

Malibu, CA 2013 (8-4)

BYU again struggled in the first half of the ball game but still ended up on the winning end in a 63-61 game. Brandon Davies recorded a double-double, his sixth of the year, with 20 points and 12 rebounds. After going into the halftime break down 31-20, the Cougars put up 43 points in the second half to come out on top. Tyler Haws added 21 points while Matt Carlino added 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

The Outlook

With the loss to Loyola Marymount on Saturday, the Cougars WCC championship dreams and plans for the tournament took a hit. The loss was the first "bad" loss of the year, so there is time to make up for it, but starting off the conference season 0-1 with a loss to LMU is bound to cause problems. The Cougars must fix their mistakes and find a way to play their style of ball in order to get back on track.

The Positives

With another game where both the offense and defense struggled, it is hard to take many positives from the win. Kyle Collinsworth led all Cougars with 18 points and eight rebounds. He also added three assists, a steal, and a block. The most positive might be his 3-4 from the free throw line. Three other players scored in double digits and Haws extended his double digit streak.

As a team the Cougars out rebounded the Lions 42-39 and even had a higher shooting percentage at the end of the game. If the Cougars can continue to win the rebounding battle, some of the shots will fall and increase their shooting percentage.

The Negatives

Many of the same issues that have plagued the Cougars all season, crept up on them again. Poor decision making, poor free throw shooting and poor three-point shooting lead the list but were joined by poor overall shooting. The stars for the cougars struggled as Haws went 4 of 15, Matt Carlino went 4 of 13, Collinsworth went 7 of 13, and only Mika shot over 50 percent with a 5 of 8 performance.

Turnovers once again cost the Cougars. The problem was not so much the number (13) as the situations. It seemed that each time the Cougars were set up make a run, the next possession turned into a turnover. The two guys that are relied upon to keep the ball, were the ones that gave it away. Haws and Collinsworth both turned the ball over five times each while the Lions totaled seven turnovers as a team.

The Keys to Watch

When Pepperdine has the ball: Look for the Waves to slow the pace of the game. They have only scored more than 80 three times this season and are averaging 73 points per game so far. The Waves leading scorer, Stacy Davis is averaging just over 16 points per game and is pulling down seven rebounds. He is complimented with Brendan Lane who is averaging almost 15 points per game and adding almost nine rebounds. The facilitator is Jeremy Major as he averages almost five assists and just over 11 points per game. Look for the Cougars to go after the boards and disrupt shots since Pepperdine doesn't have anyone over 6'9 on the roster. Watch for the Cougars to be physical and make the Waves earn their points.

When BYU has the ball: Watch for the Cougars to run the court and tire out the starters, making the Waves use their bench. If the Cougars can make the bench play big minutes, the Cougars will have their chances to put the game away. Look for the ball to go down to the post early in the game, allowing Eric Mika to make noise early. Don't expect Haws to have another poor shooting game so look for another 20 point outing for Tyler. Watch for Pepperdine to force long shots. With the struggles the Cougars are having from deep, the Waves will be happy to give up the shots. If all else fails, look for Pepperdine to make BYU earn their points from the free throw line.

The Broadcasting Details

Time: 8 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

Watch via Internet: Click Here