Pepperdine Men’s Basketball Wins CBI Title

The Pepperdine Waves men’s basketball team celebrates winning this year’s CBI Championship.

The Pepperdine Waves men’s basketball team concluded its season with a winning swish last week—a championship swish. 

The Waves won the 13th annual College Basketball Invitational with an 84-61 victory over the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in the tournament’s title game on March 24 in Daytona Beach, Fla. 

Junior guard Darryl Polk Jr. led Pepperdine with a career high 19 points, while junior forward Kessler Edwards was tabbed the CBI’s most valuable player thanks to his average of 19.7 points, six rebounds and three blocks in the Waves’ three contests. 

Pepperdine and Coastal Carolina scored back-and-forth, but the Waves took control of the contest when the Chanticleers missed 11 straight shots. Pepperdine went 18-0 over a six-minute stretch late in the first half and had a 40-22 lead at halftime. 

A pair of 9-0 runs in the second half pushed the Waves to a 28-point lead with just over 10 minutes left in the game. Coastal Carolina scored 11 straight points to cut Pepperdine’s lead to 16 points, but a pair of Waves’ three-point makes pushed the lead to over 20 points again.

Polk, who nailed three three-pointers, also had a career-high-tying five steals and three assists. Victor Ohia Obioha, a junior center, also had a career high 16 points for Pepperdine. He also grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots. 

Senior guard Colbey Ross, the Waves’ all-time leading scorer, scored 15 points and had seven rebounds, and junior guard Jadé Smith tallied 11 points, four assists, four rebounds and three steals. Edwards scored nine points, had six rebounds and four blocks. 

Pepperdine finished the season with a 15-12 record, the squad’s first winning season since 2016. Winning the CBI gave the Waves their first postseason trophy since winning the West Coast Conference Tournament in 1994. 

Pepperdine was one of eight teams to compete in the three-day invitational. 

The squad downed Longwood, 80-66, in the quarterfinals on March 22 and then beat Bellarmine, 82-71, in the semifinals, the day before winning the event’s finale. 

Before the Waves began CBI play, Ross and Edwards received some postseason honors. Both were named to the All-West Coast Conference first team. Ross was also named to the conference’s all-tournament team for the third straight year. Additionally, Ross was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and U.S. Basketball Writes Association District 9 first teams, while Edwards was named to the district’s second team by the NABC.