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The BYU basketball team finishes up a a three-game West Coast Conference road stretch on Thursday, visiting the Pepperdine Waves.
After an 80-minute Tuesday practice at the Marriott Center, assistant coach Terry Nashif, center Brandon Davies and guard Tyler Haws all discussed the game; you can hear their media sessions in "Cougar Cuts," left.
"We like playing on the road," said Davies. "They are the toughest wins to get. When you can go into anyone's place and get a win, it's a big one in this conference.
Davies also talked about the importance of winning every game from here on out, especially after two losses--to Saint Mary's and Gonzaga--in first half of the Cougars' conference campaign.
Thursday's game starts the back side of BYU's WCC slate, with the Cougars at 6-2 in league and 16-6 overall. The Waves are 2-5 in conference, 10-10 overall, and have struggled since the ineligibility suspension of senior point guard Caleb Willis immediately before the first BYU-Pepperdine game on January 10th--a game won 76-51 by the Cougars.
Haws spoke of Pepperdine's toughness at home and the Waves' ability to minimize their opponents' transition opportunities. Haws noted how important it will be to play aggressively and be in attack mode for the entire 40 minutes.
"I have confidence that if we run our stuff right and play at the pace that we want too, that our stuff will work against anyone," Haws said.
Pepperdine's two top scores are guards Lorne Jackson and Jordan Baker, who combined for 28 points in the first meeting. Baker had 20 points, but all came in the first half.
BYU countered with double-figure scoring from its "Big Three" of Davies, Haws and point guard Matt Carlino, who teamed to score 56 of BYU's 76 points. If those three can put in a repeat showing against the Waves and the tempo plays to BYU's favor, the Cougars should leave California as happy cats.
You can hear the game on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and BYU Radio (SiriusXM 143), with pregame coverage starting at 7:00 p.m.; the game tips at 8:00.
On Saturday night, BYU returns home to face Santa Clara.
Photo: Courtesy BYU Photo