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    Pacific Men's Basketball - UC Riverside 62, Pacific 53

    Feb 25, 2010
    Despite trailing 24-17 at the first half, the Pacific men's basketball team came within one point of the visiting UC Riverside Highlanders twice, but finally fell 62-53 on Thursday, Feb. 25.

    With the loss Pacific fell to 17-10 on the year and 9-4 in conference action, while the Highlanders improved to 12-15 and 5-9 in the Big West.

    Pacific jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the early part of the game, getting baskets from junior Sam Willard (Pierre, S.D.) and senior Michael Nunnally (Stockton, Calif.). UC Riverside then scored seven straight to pull ahead 7-4. With the Highlanders leading 14-13, they outscored the Tigers 8-2 to take a 22-15 lead with three minutes left in the half. Each team scored a basket in the final 3:03 to make it a 24-17 halftime lead for UCR. It was the second lowest scoring half for the Tigers this season.

    A jumper by Willard and a three-pointer by junior Demetrece Young (Oklahoma City, Okla.) provided a 5-0 start for the Tigers in the second half to cut the lead to 24-22 with just a minute gone by. UCR then used a 9-1 run over the next two and a half minutes to take a 33-23 lead with 16:50 to play. With the Highlanders leading 38-28, the Tigers scored eight straight points on a jumper by Willard and five points from junior Pat Eveland (San Diego, Calif.). UCR was able to get the lead back to six (43-37), when the Tigers used an 8-0 run capped by a three-pointer from junior Terrell Smith (Federal Way, Wash.) to take their first lead since early in the game at 47-45 with 6:40 to go. UCR's Kyle Austin then scored the next six points to give the Highlanders a 51-47 lead with 4:54 to go. After Nunnally hit three of his next four free throws to cut it to 51-50, Lateef McMullan scored his first basket of the game with a three-pointer that started a 6-0 run to give UCR a 57-50 lead with 1:37 to play. McMullan went on hit all four of his free throw attempts in the final :40 seconds to help seal the victory for the Highlanders.

    Willard had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Tigers. Austin led UCR with 23 points and eight rebounds.

    The Tigers hit just one of seven shots in the final 3:10, to finish the game shooting 33.3 percent from the field. Despite being outrebounded 36-33 by the Highlanders, Pacific pulled down 12 offensive rebounds and outscored UCR 15-4 in second chance points.

    Pacific returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 27 for a 7 p.m. tip-off against Long Beach State in the final home contest of the 2009-10 season. Pacific will be honoring the three departing seniors prior to tip-off.