Pepperdine Beats USC On Last-Second 3-pointer
Dec 7, 2001
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) - Pepperdine gave first-year coach Paul Westphal adouble-dose of nostalgia Thursday night with a surprising 78-77 victory overSouthern California at the Forum.
Craig Lewis banked in a 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds remaining as the Wavescompleted an upset of major Los Angeles schools.
'The kid hit a tough shot,' USC coach Henry Bibby said. 'If you're goingto win, that's the way to win.'
The Waves (4-2) stunned then-No. 10 UCLA 85-78 last week, and when Lewis'shot went in, Pepperdine's fans stormed the court as if the Waves had won thenational championship.
'We will claim we own L.A., at least for now,' said Westphal, who was astandout guard at USC from 1970-72.
Fans screamed, danced and mobbed the players for several minutes.
The locale and outcome brought back memories for Westphal, who played 12years in the NBA and later coached the Phoenix Suns and Seattle SuperSonics.
'I was telling some of the guys before the game one of my greatest momentsin the Forum was when I was with Phoenix and we beat the Lakers. Everybodystarted to leave early. Jack Nicholson got up and walked behind our bench andsaid, `Nice game, boys,' ' Westphal recalled.
'There's been a lot of great basketball in this building and I'm happy tobe part of another unforgettably exciting game.'
The Waves trailed by 12 points in the second half and were down by six with2:40 remaining.
But Terrance Johnson hit a 3-pointer, Devin Montgomery raced in for anuncontested layup and then Montgomery scored on a goaltending call against SamClancy to tie the game at 75 with 42 seconds remaining.
Brandon Granville answered with a runner to put USC ahead 77-75, CedricSuitt missed for Pepperdine and Clancy got fouled with 11 seconds left. But hemissed both free throws.
After a timeout by Pepperdine and two by USC, the Waves inbounded the ballat midcourt and Lewis launched the winning 25-footer with two defenders in hisface.
'You put all your shooters out there and attack,' Westphal said. 'That'sa play that can always get you a shot.'
Johnson and Lewis led the Waves with 19 points each, and Jimmy Miggins added15.
'I saw the crowd run onto the floor. It was a good feeling,' Lewis said.
The game matched Bibby, who starred at UCLA from 1970-72, against Westphal.
During Bibby's years in Westwood, the Bruins went 87-3, with one of theirlosses coming against Westphal and the rival Trojans.
The Waves created a stir by beating UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, and theirrun-and-gun style held up well against USC in the first half, when Pepperdineshot 59 percent and trailed 45-42 at the break.
Craven's basket gave the Trojans their first double-digit lead of the gameat 61-51 with 14 minutes remaining. He and Clancy combined to score 18 pointsin a 22-12 run that put USC up 69-58 with 9:58 left.
The Waves got to 73-69 on a 3-pointer by Lewis with 4:08 remaining. AfterFarmer made one of two free throws for USC, Montgomery missed and Craven torethe rebound out of Johnson's hands.
Granville got fouled and made one of two for a 75-69 lead with 2:40 left.
'We had some selfish play. We forced some shots,' Bibby said. 'You makemental mistakes and it costs you the game.'
Clancy broke out for a season high point total three days after he andfellow senior starters Granville and David Bluthenthal were benched by Bibbyfor the first 10 minutes against Rhode Island.
Bibby has been on the seniors since practice began in October for what hebelieves are their lackadaisical work habits.
The game was part of the inaugural Fab Four doubleheader at the Forum, theformer home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings, which is now ownedby a church. Gonzaga upset No. 21 Fresno State 87-77 in the opening game.
The games were originally scheduled at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in LasVegas, but concerns about college basketball being played in casinos forced themove to Inglewood.