Rivera's Tip-In Gives Pacific 62-61 Win Over Cal State Northridge
Ross Rivera's tip-in with 1.9 seconds left gave Pacific a 62-61 victory over Cal State Northridge on Saturday, February 11. Rivera scored the team's final 17 points, getting a career-high 26 points. With the win, the Tigers improved to 10-14 overall and 6-6 in Big West Conference play. The Matadors fell to 6-17 on the season and 2-10 in conference play.
Junior Markus Duran opened his second straight game with a three-pointer from the corner to give Pacific an early 3-0 lead. After the Matadors scored seven straight points, sophomore Khalil Kelley broke up the run with a layup in to make it 7-5 with 16:44 remaining in the half. CSUN took a 12-5 lead, but Rivera scored seven in a row to tie the game at 12-12. A Matador three-point play gave CSU Northridge the 15-12 advantage, but freshman Spencer Llewellyn connected with a three-pointer and tied the game 15-15 with 11:26 on the game clock. Cal State Northridge got five points from Josh Greene in a 10-0 run to take a 25-15 lead on the way to a 33-21 halftime lead.
Pacific stormed into the second half, getting four points from junior Lorenzo McCloud posting a 10-0 run to cut the Matador lead to 33-31 with 15:59 left in the game. The Tigers nibbling away at the lead until junior Colin Beatty dropped in a floater to give the Tigers a 45-43 lead with 10:04 to play, their first since the opening shot. The Matadors scored the next five points to take the lead back (48-45) with just under eight minutes remaining in the game. Rivera then took over for the Tigers, as no other Pacific player would score in the final 10 minutes. He connected with two quick baskets to give the Tigers the 49-48 lead, but CSUN's Vinnie McGhee hit a pair of three-pointers in a row to spark a 9-2 and take a 57-51 advantage. Rivera responded with six unanswered points to tie the game for the seventh time at 57-57 with only 1:42 remaining in the game. A foul by the Tigers put the Matadors at the line, but after taking a 59-57 lead, Rivera switched it back with right-side trey to make it 60-59 with only 51 seconds left on the clock. After the Matadors inbounded, a dunk by Stephen Maxwell gave CSU Northridge the 61-60 lead with 23 seconds remaining in the game. Pacific called a timeout and afterTravis Fulton missed on the right side of the lane, Rivera was there for the game-winning tip-in at the 1.9 second mark.
In addition to Rivera's career-best 26 points, Llewellyn also reached a career high with seven points. The Tigers completely turned their performance around in the second half and shot 66.7 percent from the field, compared to their 29.6 shooting percentage in the first. Pacific was perfect from the line in the second half (10-10) and outscored the Matador bench 38-3.
The Tigers are next in action on Tuesday, February 14 at UC Davis. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. from The Pavilion. The game was originally schedule for February 15. Listen live at www.pacifictigers.com.