Tigers Fall at Long Beach State
The Pacific men's basketball team held a late lead at Long Beach State on Saturday, Jan. 14, but dropped a 76-66 decision. The Tigers are now 5-11 on the year, 1-4 in Big West Conference play, while Long Beach State improved to 12-6 overall, 5-0 in league play.
The teams played even most of the first half, tied at 5-5 and then at 11:11 after the first seven and a half minutes of the game. After a three-point play by sophomore Ross Rivera gave the Tigers a 14-11 lead, the 49ers used a 9-3 run to take a 20-17 lead with 6:44 to play in the half. Pacific finished the half on a 7-2 run, as junior Travis Fulton scored four points in the stretch. Defense was prominent in the later part of the half, as each team scored just two points in the final four minutes of the half. The Tigers shot just 34.5 percent from the field, but held the 49ers to 29.6 shooting.
The teams exchanged baskets to open the second half, before sophomore Trevin Harris scored five straight to give the Tigers a 33-28 lead with 18:14 left in the game. LBSU came back to tie it up with a 7-2 run, but the went back up by four (40-36) with 16:24 to play after a pair of free throws by Fulton. Another five point run by the 49ers made it a 41-40 lead, which started a segment of nine lead changes that left the Tigers trailing 53-51 with 8:40 to play. Over the next three minutes the Tigers went on an 8-0 run started by a three-point play from Rivera. The 59-53 advantage was the largest lead of the game for Pacific, but it was short-lived. Long Beach State used an 11-1 run including a four-point play by Casper Ware over the next three minutes to reclaim the lead at 64-60 with 2:23 to play. Junior Colin Beatty answered for the Tigers with a jumper, but the 49ers scored their last 16 points from the free throw line to seal the win.
"We had every chance to win tonight's game, but we came up just a bit short," said Harris.
The Tigers were led by a career high from Harris with 18 points. Fulton added 13 points and a team-best six rebounds. Ware led the 49ers with 20 points. The Tigers shot 38.1 percent from the field, while holding the 49ers to a 37.0 mark for the game. LBSU was 35-39 from the free throw line, an opponent season high by 17 free throw attempts. The 89.7 percent from the line was 20% higher than their season average.
Pacifiic is next in action with a home game against Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The Pacific women's basketball team host Seattle at 5:00 p.m. You can follow the action live on http://pacifictigers.com.