Pacific Men's Basketball - Pacific 63, Northern Colorado 59
The Tiger men's basketball team held on for a 63-59 victory at Northern Colorado on Monday, March 22. With the win, the Tigers advance to the semi-finals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament and will face Appalachian State on Wednesday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) in Boone, N.C.
Pacific improved to 22-11 on the season, while Northern Colorado finishes the season at 25-7.
The Tigers and Bears each started out hot from the field, combining to hit nine of 14 shots from the field as the Tigers took an early 14-9 lead. Northern Colorado came back with five straight points to even it at 14-14. Junior Pat Eveland (San Diego, Calif.) jump-started an 11-1 run with five straight points as the Tigers took a 25-15 lead with 8:42 left in the first half. The Bears scored six straight points to cut Pacific's lead to four (25-21), but junior Terrell Smith (Federal Way, Wash.) hit a three-pointer to stop the run. The Bears used a late 6-1 spurt to cut the lead to 32-30 with 1:20 to play, but a three-pointer from freshman Allen Huddleston (Merced, Calif.) and a 17-footer from Smith gave the Tigers a 37-31 advantage at the break.
Smith scored on a jumper to give the Tigers a 39-31 lead, but the Bears' Chris Kaba scored eight straight points to make it 39-39 with 16:16 to go in the game. Huddleston answered with a three-pointer on Pacific's next possession to take the lead back. The Tigers surged ahead again 48-43 after jumpers from seniors Michael Nunnally (Stockton, Calif.) and Joe Ford (Altadena, Calif.), but the Bears evened it back up at 48-48 with 10:24 to go. Another basket by Ford, followed by a layup by Smith and a pair of free throws from junior Sam Willard (Pierre, S.D.) gave the Tigers a 58-51 advantage with 3:49 left in the game. A pair of free throws by Mike Proctor and a layup by Kaba cut the Tiger lead to 60-57 with 1:16 left. Pacific's struggles at the free throw line kept the Bears in the game, as the Tigers made just three of eight free throws in the final minute. Smith and senior Lavar Neufville (Fairfield, Calif.) each hit one of two from the line to give the Tigers a 62-57 lead with :13 seconds left. Will Figures scored on a lay-up to make it 62-59 with :06 seconds left and the Bears immediately fouled junior Demetrece Young (Oklahoma City, Okla.). Young missed the first but made the second and the Tigers held on for a four point victory.
Smith led the Tigers with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Young added 10 points. Pacific was just 14-29 from the free throw line (48.3%). Pacific out-rebounded the Bears 41-36, getting 11 boards on the offensive end.