Pacific Men's Basketball - Pacific 77, Arkansas State 70
The Pacific men's basketball team won its third game away from home with a 77-70 victory over Arkansas State on Monday, Nov. 22. The Tigers improved to 4-1 on the season, while ASU dropped to 0-4.
Playing outstanding defense early, the Tigers forced eight straight misses from the field by the Red Wolves to start the game and opened a 12-0 lead seven minutes into the contest. Seniors Nyika Williams (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) and Sam Willard (Pierre, S.D.) combined for 10 of the Tigers' first 12 points. With the Tigers leading 24-16 and 7:27 remaining in the first half, there was a 15 minute tornado warning delay. Following the break, Arkansas State then made a charge at the Tigers, evening it up (28-28) after a 12-4 run. A free throw by senior Nyika along with three-pointers from seniors Jose Rivera (Brentwood, Calif.) and Demetrece Young (Oklahoma City, Okla.) gave the Tigers a seven-point lead with just a couple of ticks left in the first half. That was enough for Arkansas State's Edward Townsel to launch a half-court shot that found the net to cut Pacific's lead to 35-31 at the break. It was the first time in the Tigers' first five games that they have held the lead at the break. Willard had a team-best nine points in the opening half, despite being saddled with foul trouble and playing a season-low 13 first half minutes.
After the Red Wolves cut the Pacific lead to three (42-39) with 16:56 left in the game, the Tigers built their lead back up to 13 (52-39) after Young took over. Demetrece scored eight points in a 10-0 run, adding a steal, rebound and assist in the two minute stretch. Arkansas State cut the lead again to six (63-57) after a 6-0 spurt, but the Tigers regained control with seven straight points from Williams and junior Jose Rivera (Brentwood, Calif.). Leading 70-57 with 3:34 to play, Arkansas State again made a run at the Tigers, but Young made four straight free throws to seal the victory.
Young scored a season-high 19 points for the Tigers, with six assists and three steals. Williams notched a career-high 14 points, while Rivera and Willard each scored 12 points. Malcoln Kirkland scored 14 points to lead Arkansas State.
Pacific shot 48.0 percent for the game from the field, including seven makes in its first 11 shots of the second half. The Tigers attempted a season-high 31 free throws, including 23 in the second half.
The Tigers are next in action on Tuesday, Nov. 23 with a 5:00 p.m. (PT) contest at Missouri State.