Pacific Men's Basketball - Pacific 66, Cal State Northridge 47
The Pacific men's basketball team earned a share of the 2009-10 Big West Conference regular season championship, with a 66-47 win at Cal State Northridge on Saturday, March 6.
Pacific is now 20-10 overall and 12-4 in Big West Conference games. It is the 13th time in school history that the Tigers have won 20 games. The Matadors are 11-20 overall, 6-10 in league contests.
Junior Terrell Smith (Federal Way, Wash.) broke a 6-for-36 slump by hitting 7-of-13 shots from the field in scoring a career-high 19 points for the Tigers. "I've been in a shooting slump the last couple of games, but my teammates gave me the confidence to keep shooting," said junior Terrell Smith. "All I needed was one shot to go down and I felt good. We knew this was an important weekend and we had a big win on Thursday night at Fullerton. To be Big West co-champs is a great feeling."
The Tigers raced to a 10-0 lead in the first half, with three-pointers by Smith and senior Demetrece Young (Oklahoma City, Okla.) keying the run. Pacific held Cal State Northridge to 0-5 shooting from the field and four turnovers in the opening five minute run. The Matadors then outscored Pacific 16-9 over the next seven minutes to cut the lead to 19-16 with 6:46 to go in the half. Smith then scored five points in a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to give the Tigers a 31-16 lead with 3:48 to go. Pacific increased its lead to 16, before a last second layup by Dathan Lyles cut the Tiger lead to 35-21 at the break. Junior Sam Willard (Pierre, S.D.) had 14 points and six rebounds in the first half for Pacific.
Pacific steadily increased its lead in the second half, with a pair of three-pointers by Young and junior Pat Eveland (San Diego, Calif.) capping a 13-4 run to take a 24-point lead (51-27) with 8:30 to play in the game. The advantage did not fall below 18 the rest of way as the Tigers cruised to the victory. Pacific's defense came up big in the victory, holding the Matadors to 32.7 percent shooting from the field and just one three-pointer in 15 attempts. The Tigers hit half of their second half shots to extend to the victory.
"We set a great tone early, and I was really proud of the way we played tonight. It was one of our best games of the year," said Tiger head coach Bob Thomason.
Willard led the Tigers with 20 points and 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. Smith scored a career-high 19 points.
Pacific is next in action on Friday, March 12 at the Big West Tournament. The Tigers will play in the late game at 8:30 p.m.