Pacific Men's Basketball - Cal State Fullerton 54, Pacific 51
The Tiger men's basketball team dropped a 54-51 decision at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Dec. 30, on a last second three-pointer. Pacific is now 8-6, 1-1 in Big West Conference play, while the Titans improved to 5-9, 1-1 in league action.
Devon Peltier hit the three-pointer for the Titans with four-tenths of a second left to play. The shot hit the rim and bounced up twice before settling through the basket.
The Tigers had their worst offensive performance of the year in the first half, hitting just six of 24 shots from the field and scoring a season-low 19 points. Pacific began the game with two technical foul shots (made by Demetrece Young) awarded after a Fullerton player dunked during the warm up period. A layup from freshman Khalil Kelley (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) and a three-pointer from senior Terrell Smith (Federal Way, Wash.) gave the Tigers a 7-2 lead just over a minute into the game. The Tigers would score just 12 points the rest of the half, as the Titans took advantage with an 11-0 run over an eight minute Pacific scoring drought to lead 31-17 with 3:04 to play in the half. The Tigers did hold Cal State Fullerton scoreless over the final three minutes and senior Pat Eveland hit a jumper in the lane with 1:16 to go to snap the scoreless stretch to make it 31-19 at halftime.
In the opening moments of the second half, Fullerton built the lead to 19 (38-19), before the Tigers slowly climbed back into the contest. Senior Sam Willard (Pierre, S.D.) scored four points in a 7-2 spurt to cut the lead to 14 (40-26) with 15:51 to play. Pacific continued whittling away at the lead, cutting the lead to 51-39 with 5:16 to play. Eveland hit a three-pointer and a pair of free throws in the Tigers' 12-0 run to even up the contest at 51-51 with :28 seconds. Young finished off the run with the game-evening free throws.
Willard had his 11th double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Tigers. Eveland added 10 points and six boards.
The Tigers held a slight 32-30 rebounding advantage. Each team had nine offensive rebounds, but the Titans out-scored Pacific 15-2 in second chance points.
Pacific is next in action with a home game against Cal Poly on Jan. 6. Game time is 7:00 p.m. in the Alex G. Spanos Center.