Kemy Osse‘s 3-point try at the buzzer rimmed out, and the Little Rock Trojans dropped a close contest to the Pepperdine Waves, 66-65, as part of the Lone Star Showcase on Tuesday evening.
The loss came a day after the Trojans (3-2) held off a second-half rally from the St. Bonaventure Bonnies to dispatch the Bonnies for a quality 68-65 victory in the tournament’s first round.
Osse, a redshirt senior from Montreal, had a quiet shooting night as Little Rock shot 38 percent from the floor as a team and stumbled late in the game, despite leading the entire first half and being up by as many as seven points down the stretch.
The West Coast Conference‘s Waves (4-1), which lost its first Showcase game to the Central Michigan Chippewas on Monday, edged ahead for the first time with 13:29 remaining in the second half and used the heroics of senior guards Jeremy Major and Amadi Udenyi to create separation in the back-and-forth that ensued.
Major finished with 16 points, and Udenyi had 9 to his credit with a 3-for-4 shooting performance from behind the 3-point arc. One of those treys, however, came with extra context and provided even more of a spark to lift Pepperdine ahead.
Little Rock’s Lis Shoshi tipped in a missed shot to knot the score at 63 points apiece with about a minute and a half left in the game. Udenyi, who moments earlier was forced to stagger off the court with an apparent ankle injury, quickly returned to action and buried a go-ahead 3-pointer on a second-chance possession.
Udneyi’s shot proved to be the winning one, as Pepperdine held on for a 66-65 victory.
Shoshi led the Trojans with 16 points and was 8-for-12 from the floor with 10 rebounds (including five offensive boards). Jalen Jackson had 13 points with eight rebounds, while Marcus Johnson Jr. added 12 points.
Little Rock came out of the loss with a 24-for-66 shooting mark, and was a disappointing 3-for-12 on 3-pointers.
The Trojans next draw the Central Michigan Chippewas, who are 2-1 in the Showcase and 4-1 overall, with a blowout loss to St. Bonaventure on Tuesday the only blemish. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET, which will wrap up the tournament.
Pepperdine will face the Bonnies in the slot prior (6:00 p.m.).
– H. Hudson