MALIBU, Calif. -- Keion Bell scored 14 points and Pepperdine held off a late rally by Loyola Marymount, for a 59-57 victory in both team's West Coast Conference opener on Saturday night.
The two evenly matched teams traded the lead 12 times and shot similar percentages with Pepperdine making 36.4 percent of its field goals compared to Loyola Marymount's 35.5 percent.
Dane Suttle and Mychel Thompson added 12 points each for Pepperdine (4-14, 1-0 WCC) which won its second straight game.
But trailing 57-48 with less than a minute remaining, the Lions forced a few turnovers for a 6-1 run. Armstead nailed a 3-pointer from about mid-court before the shot clock expired for Loyola Marymount's final two points.
Loyola Marymount erased a 9-point halftime deficit by out-scoring Pepperdine 15-2 to start the second half to take a 42-38 lead.
A pair of freshman led the depleted Lions, who are down to seven scholarship players. Jarred DuBois had 17 points and Armstead 16 points and seven rebounds for Loyola Marymount (1-16, 0-1).
Tied 21-all, Pepperdine out-scored Loyola Marymount 15-6 in the final six minutes of the first half to take a 36-27 lead at the break.