Pacific Men's Basketball - Pacific 74, Cal State Northridge 64
The Pacific men's basketball team overcame a 10 point second half deficit to pick up a 74-64 victory at Cal State Northridge on Tuesday, Dec. 28. The Tigers improved to 8-5 and 1-0 in Big West Conference play, while the Matadors dropped to 3-9 and 0-1.
A jumper by senior Sam Willard (Pierre, S.D.) gave Pacific a 6-4 lead three and half minutes into the game. The Matadors then scored seven straight, including five in a row from Rashaun McLemore to take an 11-6 lead with 14 minutes left in the half. A pair of three-pointers from junior Jose Rivera (Brentwood, Calif.) and senior Demetrece Young (Oklahoma City, Okla.) handed the lead right back to the Tigers at 12-11. Moments later, a layup from Willard made it 20-19 with 6:21 to play in the half. The Tigers didn't score over the next four minutes, as CSUN opened up an 11 point lead (30-19) with 3:17 to play in the half. Willard again answered for the Tigers, hitting a top of the key three-pointer to ignite an 8-2 run to finish the first half and make it 32-27 at the break.
Senior Nyika Williams (Kingston, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) opened up the second half scoring for the Tigers with a layup to cut the lead to 32-29, but four points from Lenny Daniel in a 7-0 run took the Matador lead back to 10 (39-29) with 17:12 to play. Trailing 43-33, the Tigers used a 14-0 run to flip the score to a 47-43 advantage with 12:22 to play, getting back-to-back three-pointers in the run from Rivera. Pacific hit 12 consecutive shots from the field in the middle of the game-changing run that turned a 10 point deficit into a 13 point advantage (67-54) with 4:52 to play in the game. The Matadors scored five straight, but senior Terrell Smith (Federal Way, Wash.) answered with a three-pointer to give the Tigers a 70-58 lead with 1:35 to play. The lead did not fall below eight the rest of the way.
Rivera led the Tigers with a career-high 18 points, hitting six-of-seven from three-point range. Willard finished with his 10th double-double of the season, scoring 17 points with 12 rebounds. Young scored 11 points, adding a career-high eight assists.
The Tigers shot 66.7 percent from the field in the second half, hitting 16 of 24 shots, to end up at 54.2 percent for the game. The Matadors out-rebounded the Tigers 35-29, including 16 offensive rebounds that translated to 20 second chance points. Pacific maximized its passing, getting 21 assists on 26 field goals.
Pacific is next in action at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Dec. 30. The game is scheduled for a 7:05 p.m. tipoff.