Tigers Drop First Home Game, 55-47 To Fresno State
The Pacific Tigers fell to the Fresno State Bulldogs 55-47 on Thursday, December 29 at the Alex G. Spanos Center. With the loss, the Tigers dropped their fourth straight and fell to 4-7 on the season. The Bulldogs improved to 6-8.
Pacific controlled the tip and took a 5-2 lead, highlighted by a three from junior Markus Duran to open the game. Fresno State responded with nine uncontested points over the next five and a half minutes before junior Lorenzo McCloud dropped in a jumper to cut the lead to four (11-7) with 13:42 on the clock. Fresno State's Kevin Olekaibe landed a three to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 lead with 7:52 to go, marking the first time either team had scored in just under six minutes. Fresno State scored again off a basket by Kevin Foster before junior Colin Beatty nailed a jumper with 6:06 left in the half to give the Tigers their first basket since the 13th minute. The Bulldogs posted a 6-1 run to give Fresno State their largest lead of the night at 22-10 before Rivera sank a basket and two free throws in a 6-0 run of their own to cut the Bulldog lead to 22-16 at the half. Pacific outscored the Bulldogs 6-0 over the last four minutes of the half, aided by three turnovers and forcing FSU five misses from the field.
Sophomore Khalil Kelley opened scoring in the second half with a basket in the paint, cutting the Tiger deficit to four with 19:30 on the clock. Pacific and Fresno State exchanged baskets before McCloud scored from the paint to bring the Tigers within three (30-27) with 13:18 remaining. FSU then scored five straight points to take the lead back up to eight (35-27) with 11:06 to play. Pacific would close the gap to five twice in the final 10 minutes, for the final time after another Kelley layup made it 48-43 with 1:34 to play. The Bulldogs converted seven of eight free throws in the final moments to seal the win.
Junior Lorenzo McCloud led the Tigers with 13 points and three steals. The only other Tiger to score in double digits was Colin Beatty, who scored 10 points and recorded 10 boards for his first career double-double. As a team, the Tigers shot 35.8 percent from the field and made just three of 17 three-point attempts. After Duran's trey to open the game, Pacific missed 11 straight from beyond the arc. Pacific outscored the Bulldogs in the paint 22-16, but were outscored 10-8 in second chance points. Jonathan Wills scored 12 points to lead Fresno State.
The Tigers are next in action on Monday, January 2 at Cal State Fullerton. Game time is 7:00 pm. Listen live at www.pacifictigers.com.