Pacific Men's Basketball - Long Beach State 70, Pacific 69
The Tigers dropped a tough 70-69 decision at Long Beach State on Saturday, Jan. 15. The Tigers drop to 10-8 on the season, 2-3 in Big West play, while the 49ers improved to 11-8 and 6-0 in league action.
Pacific opened a 6-2 lead in the first half, but the 49ers scored five straight to take a 7-6 advantage. With an 8-8 tie, senior Demetrece Young (Oklahoma City, Okla.) hit two straight three-pointers to give the Tigers a 14-8 lead with 15:07 to play. After a Long Beach State basket, senior Sam Willard (Pierre, S.D.) scored four points as the Tigers went on a 10-2 run to take their largest lead of the half (24-12) with 12:11 to play. An 8-2 run cut the Pacific lead to 28-22 lead with 8:56 to go. Pacific and the 49ers played nearly even the rest of the half, and the 49ers' Tristan Wilson scored on a half court shot after a scramble to cut the lead to 40-36 at the break. Willard had 18 points and nine rebounds in the first half for the Tigers.
Pacific started the second half shooting just three of 10 from the field, as the 49ers used a 12-7 start to take a 48-47 lead with 16:06 remaining. LBSU led 50-49 when the Tigers stormed back with a 10-1 run capped by Willard hitting a pair of three-pointers on consecutive possessions to give the Tigers a 59-51 lead with 9:11 to play. The 49ers answered right back, using a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 61-60 with 4:29 to play. A three-pointer from sophomore Allen Huddleston (Merced, Calif.), a reverse layup from senior Terrell Smith (Federal Way, Wash.) and a free throw from Young gave the Tigers a 67-60 lead with just 2:49 to play. A three-pointer from Greg Plater and jumper from Casper Ware capped an 8-0 LBSU run over the next two minutes, as the 49ers claimed a 68-67 lead with :56 seconds to go. Huddleston hit a pair of free throws on the Tigers' next trip to swing the lead back in favor of Pacific (69-68) with :19 seconds to play, but Ware again hit a jumper with just :10 seconds left to make it 70-69 in favor of the 49ers. Young had a jumper go off the rim as time expired.
Willard led the Tigers with his 13th double-double of the year, scoring a career-high 27 points with 13 rebounds. Young scored 11 points and senior Nyika Williams (Kingston, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) added 10 points with six rebounds.
The game featured 12 lead changes and five ties. Pacific had 13 turnovers, which led to 16 points for LBSU. Four of Pacific's league games have been decided by four points or less, with the Tigers holding a 1-3 record in those contests.
The Tigers are next in action with a road game at UC Davis on Saturday, Jan. 22. The tipoff time is set for 7:00 p.m.