(AP) — Joshua Lowery had 13 points, eight assists and hit six free throws in the closing seconds to lead Pepperdine to a 66-60 win over lackluster Arizona State Tuesday night.
Pepperdine (2-0) built a 12-point lead in the first half behind its 3-point shooting, let Arizona State back in it early in the second, then withstood a late run by the Sun Devils.
The Waves didn't have another double-digit scorer, but hit 8 of 11 from 3-point range for what could be a big confidence-boosting win early in the season.
Arizona State (1-1) followed up an underwhelming win over Montana State in its opener with another sloppy performance. The Sun Devils had 15 turnovers, many on forced plays, and couldn't seem to make a shot inside or out, hitting 34 percent from the field, including 7-for-27 from 3-point range.
Trent Lockett led the Sun Devils with 23 points and nine rebounds.
Pepperdine is under new leadership this season after Tom Asbury retired and was replaced by top assistant Marty Wilson.
The Waves, coming off six straight losing seasons, got off to a winning start under Wilson, getting 18 points from Caleb Willis in a 59-50 over Division III Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday.
Arizona State figured to be a step up in competition for Pepperdine, but the Sun Devils just didn't play like it.
The Sun Devils won Friday night, beating Montana State 78-72 after five players scored double figures, but had coach Herb Sendek furious after turning the ball over 22 times, the most since 2006, and allowing 22 second-chance points on 17 offensive rebounds.
Arizona State cut down on the turnovers and was better on the defensive boards against Pepperdine initially.
The Sun Devils just didn't play much defense.
Pepperdine opened by hitting inside and out, making its first six 3-point attempts to build a 12-point lead midway the first half. The Waves made 7 of 9 from long range in the half and Arizona State helped them out by stringing together turnovers, including a couple that had Sendek staring blankly at his players.
The Sun Devils put together a small rally late, pulling within 35-29, which was not exactly what they wanted against a mid-major, but still better than a double-digit loss.
Arizona State tightened up on defense briefly to pull within three early in the second half, appearing ready to take over the game, but the Sun Devils could not sustain the intensity.
Pepperdine continued to find holes in Arizona State's defense and the Sun Devils kept clanging shots as the lead went back up to 14 points.
Arizona State chipped away, pulling within 60-55 with 40 seconds left on a long 3-pointer by Lockett, but couldn't get any closer thanks to Lowery's six straight free throws down the stretch.