Pacific Men's Basketball - Pacific 65, Fresno State 55
Pacific came away with a 65-55 victory at Fresno State on Tuesday, Dec. 21. The Tigers are now 7-5 on the season, while the Bulldogs are 4-6.
Pacific senior Demetrece Young (Oklahoma City, Okla.) opened the scoring with a three-pointer, as the Tigers held Fresno State scoreless for the first 7:30 of the game. The Tigers started the game with an 8-0 lead. Fresno State cut the lead to 11-7 with a 7-3 run over the next three minutes. The Tigers added another pair of three-pointers, from senior Pat Eveland (San Diego, Calif.) and another from Young to take a 17-10 lead with 7:57 to play in the half. With the Tigers lead at 19-13, Eveland hit another trey and senior Sam Willard (Pierre, S.D.) picked up his 10th first half rebound on the offensive end and layed it back in as the lead extended to 24-13. With Pacific leading 26-16, the Bulldogs scored four straight to end the half and make it 26-20 at the break.
Pacific took the lead up to a game-high 20 points (35-22) after seven straight points from Willard sparked the Tigers to a 16-2 run over the first seven minutes of the second half that also featured four points inside from senior Nyika Williams (Kingston, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines). Fresno State went on a 9-2 run over their own to cut the lead back to 44-31, getting a pair of three-pointers from Kevin Olekaibe. Pacific pushed the lead back to 17 (50-33) with 7:57 to play, following a jumper in the lane from Young. With the Tiger lead at 16, Fresno State went on a late 11-4 run to cut the Tiger lead to nine (57-48) with 3:45 remaining. Young responded with a jumper in the lane for the Tigers to push the lead back to double-digits, and the lead did not fall below nine the rest of the way.
Young led the Tigers with 21 points, hitting seven of 11 shots from the field. Willard picked up his ninth double-double of the year, with 17 points and tied his season high with 16 rebounds. Williams had 10 points in just 14 minutes, and picked up five offensive rebounds.
The Tigers played excellent defense, holding the Bulldogs to 32.7 percent shooting from the field. Meanwhile, the Tigers shot 55.6 percent from the field in the second half and 46.2 percent for the game. Pacific dominated on the glass, out-rebounding the Bulldogs 46-31, including a season-best 17 offensive rebounds. Pacific had as many points at the line as the Bulldogs (11), but took nine fewer shots.
Pacific is next in action at Cal State Northridge on Dec. 28. Game time is 7:00 p.m. in the Matadome for the Big West Conference opener for both teams.