Cmichigan 32 48 80
Pepperdine 30 47 77
Date of game: 12/16/2012

Recap: Pepperdine vs. Central Mich

Malibu, CA (Sports Network) - Kyle Randall connected on several crucial free throws in the final moments as the Central Michigan Chippewas held on to defeat the Pepperdine Waves, 80-77, in a non-conference battle at Firestone Fieldhouse.

Randall, who gave the Chippewas (5-4) some breathing room in the final moments with a pair of successful free throws, finished with a game-high 21 points for CMU as the team won for the second time in the last three outings. Blake Hibbitts came off the bench to offer up 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting behind the three-point line, while John Simons and Austin Keel contributed 12 points apiece for the visitors.

The Waves (6-4) were paced by Nikolas Skouen, one of six players in double figures with his 16 points. Lorne Jackson contributed 13 points in a reserve role, followed by Stacy Davis with 12 and both Jett Raines and Atif Russell with 10 points apiece. Nearly pulling off a triple-double was Jordan Baker who filled his stat line with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in 31 minutes of action.

Pepperdine began the meeting on a 5-0 run, but the team soon watched a 14-10 advantage at the 14:23 mark of the first half turn into an eight point deficit barely four minutes later. Shooting an impressive 7-of-16 from beyond the arc through the first 20 minutes of action, the Chippewas claimed a slim 32-30 lead at the break.

In the second half the margin grew as large as 13 points on a couple of occasions, and even though the Chippewas built a solid lead in the final two minutes, Pepperdine refused to back down and remained in contention till the very end.

After being ahead by seven points with less than 20 seconds remaining, Randall was forced to come up big at the free-throw line in the closing moments, hitting the second of two free throws down the stretch to extend the lead to 78-74. At the other end Jackson connected on a three-pointer with 1.2 seconds to close the gap to just a single point.

CMU was able to get the ball inbounds and Randall was again fouled and sent to the charity stripe for a pair, this time with only 0.7 seconds left on the clock. Two conversions later, the Chippewas had themselves a hard-fought road win.

Pepperdine was an impressive 11-of-22 out on the perimeter in the meeting and also held a 35-19 rebounding advantage, but even those positives could not outweigh the fact that the hosts were guilty of 19 turnovers, outscored at the free-throw line by a 16-4 margin and allowed Central Michigan to connect on 14-of-29 shots from beyond the arc.

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