The Pepperdine Waves were coming off three-point losses in their previous two games and coach Lorenzo Romar had an uneasy feeling against San Diego.
"Well, here we go again fellas," he remembers telling his team. "Let's finish this one."
The Waves did just that, giving Romar his 400th career coaching victory.
Sophomore guard Colbey Ross scored a career-high 27 points and Kameron Edwards added a season-high 23 for the Waves, who dominated the last four minutes to hand the Toreros their first home loss this season, 76-71 Saturday.
The Waves were coming off three-point losses at home against San Francisco and at Santa Clara, games in which they had the lead.
"We had been in those," said Romar, who's in the first year of his second stint with Pepperdine. "As I joked in the game with our guys, we've had a lot of practice in these. We've just got to finally figure out the last part, to win it, and the guys did that tonight."
Romar improved to 400-293 in 21 seasons as head coach at Pepperdine, Saint Louis and Washington.
San Diego, which played the last 10 minutes without its second-leading scorer, guard Olin Carter III, had a 61-58 lead when Andrew Ferguson was whistled for a flagrant 1 foul against Edwards. Edwards made both free throws and then was fouled during the ensuing possession and made one of two free throws to tie it at 61.
Tyler Williams made two free throws for the Toreros' last lead before Ross made two free throws and then hit a pretty floater in the lane to give Pepperdine a 65-63 lead with 2:39 to go.
Edwards' brother, Kessler, made a dagger 3-point shot with 1:54 left for a five-point lead and the Toreros couldn't recover.
Kessler Edwards scored 13 points for the Waves (9-9, 2-2 West Coast), who outscored USD 18-10 in the final four minutes.
Ross' previous career high was 25, done several times.
Isaiah Pineiro scored 19, Carter 12, Williams 11 and Finn Sullivan 10 for USD (12-6, 1-2).
Carter suffered an abdominal injury with 10:27 left and the Toreros trailing 47-44. He didn't return. The Toreros were already without guard Isaiah Wright, who has a hairline fracture in his right wrist.
"At times they were having their way with us for a while there when they made their comeback and took the lead," Romar said. "Without him in the game, they're just not used to playing without him. That helped out. But at the same time, I thought our guys were resilient. Even though the assists don't reflect it, I thought we did a good job of sharing the ball, making plays. Our guys stepped up and made plays."
USD fell to 9-1 at home this season under first-year coach Sam Scholl.
"We're not making excuses," Scholl said. "You've got to win. If you're going to be a good team, you've got to be able to play through injury, succeed through injury. ... We had opportunities."
Pepperdine scored the last seven points of the first half, including Kessler Edwards' 3-pointer, to take a 30-26 lead.
Pepperdine: The Waves came in with six players averaging double digits in scoring.
San Diego: The Toreros played their fourth game without Wright, who was hurt Dec. 23 against Drake. USD had a week off since its last game, a 73-64 win against Pacific.
Pepperdine hosts BYU on Thursday night.
San Diego is at Portland on Thursday night.