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USF beats Pepperdine to snap three-game skid

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Matt McCarthy, seen here Thursday, had a game-high 12 rebounds on Saturday. (Courtesy Christina Leung/USF Athletics)

WAR MEMORIAL GYM — The San Francisco Dons wavered but never yielded on Saturday night, leading wire-to-wire in an 80-73 victory over the Pepperdine Waves.

“It’s a gritty win,” said head coach Kyle Smith.

After Pepperdine (3-17, 0-8 WCC) trimmed a seven-point halftime lead to 40-39, Jamaree Bouyea hit three consecutive 3-pointers as USF went on a 9-2 run to regain control.

The nine-point spurt was part of a career-high 13-point night for the freshman, who entered the night just 3-for-28 from beyond the arc.

“A performance like this can open a freshman’s eyes,” said Frankie Ferrari, who led all scorers with 22 points. “Today was his coming-out party.”

Ferrari made six free throws in the final minute and made a significant impact on the defensive side, drawing two charges on the night. His pull-up jumper from the free throw line restored a four-point lead after Darnell Dunn’s lay-in cut the score to 64-62.

While the visiting Waves did end up scoring 73 on the night, San Francisco (11-10, 3-5) held Colbey Ross to four points in the first half and 15 total after he had scored 23 on the Dons in the teams’ previous meeting, an 80-67 USF win.

It took a while for the outside shooting to get going for the Dons, but a tremendous rebounding performance made up for the early struggles. USF outrebounded Pepperdine 25-11 in the first half, including 9-1 on the offensive boards, and held an overall 39-32 advantage for the game. Matt McCarthy had a game-high 12 rebounds, including five offensive, and finished one point shy of a double-double.

Jordan Ratinho, coming off a rough game Thursday, scored 14 on 5-for-9 shooting — his first time shooting over 50 percent since the prior meeting with the Waves. Remu Raitanen added six points and six rebounds. Erik Poulsen hit a three for his only points of the night after a 6-0 Pepperdine run brought the Waves within two.

Kameron Edwards, who missed the first meeting between the two teams, led Pepperdine with 18 points, scoring 15 in the second half.

USF returns to action Thursday for a home contest against a fast-rising Pacific team that pushed Saint Mary’s to the brink. Chase Foster, the lone senior on the roster, is probable to return from his ankle injury against the Tigers. He was injured early in the loss to Loyola Marymount that started the three-game skid.

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