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BYU Will Face Pepperdine Waves In Semifinals Of WCC Tournament

BYU basketball forward Gideon George goes to the basket against Pepperdine's Kessler Edwards. (BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball finally knows who they will face in the 2021 WCC Tournament. The Cougars will face Pepperdine on Monday, March 8, 2021, in the 2021 WCC Tournament semifinals in Las Vegas.

Pepperdine defeated Santa Clara 78-70 on Saturday night in the quarterfinals to advance to Monday’s rubber match with BYU.

BYU is looking for its first win in the WCC Tournament since 2018. The Cougars have lost their last two games in the league tournament (2020, Saint Mary’s; 2019, San Diego). BYU’s last win was against Saint Mary’s in 2018.

The other semifinal matchup will be Gonzaga taking on Saint Mary’s.

BYU/Pepperdine in 2021 WCC Tournament

This will be the third meeting between BYU and Pepperdine this season. The first two meetings were split, with each team winning on their home court. Both games were back-to-back on the schedule. The most recent meeting taking place on January 27 in Malibu. Pepperdine won that game 76-73. BYU won in Provo 65-54.

The Waves are 12-11 overall this season and have two of the conference’s best players in All-WCC First Team selections Colbey Ross and Kessler Edwards. In Saturday night’s Quarterfinal win over Santa Clara, Ross became the WCC Tournament career scoring leader passing Loyola Marymount’s Hank Gathers. Ross now has 196 total points in his Waves career.

Former Washington head man Lorenzo Romar coaches Pepperdine. Romar is 1-6 all-time in games against BYU. The lone win against BYU coming this past January.

This is Pepperdine’s second appearance in the semifinals of the WCC Tournament in three years. The Waves made it to the semis in 2019 before falling to Gonzaga, 100-74.

Pepperdine is one of the best teams in the country at assists per game with 16.2 per game, and they are in the top 20 nationally in free-throw percentage at 78.3 per contest.

Previous meetings between Cougars & Waves this season

BYU has one All-WCC First Team selection in guard Alex Barcello. In two games against Pepperdine this season, Barcello has averaged 8 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game. WCC Defensive Player of the Year Matt Haarms scored 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game.

Tip-off for BYU and Pepperdine on Monday is set for 10 p.m. (MT) and will be televised on ESPN2. You can listen to the game on KSL NewsRadio, your legacy home of the BYU Cougars.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m., KSL Newsradio). Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper and the KSL Sports app.

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