Pacific Gets First WCC Win, 80-68 Over Santa Clara
University of the Pacific men's basketball team picked up its first West Coast Conference win since returning to the conference with an 80-68 victory over Santa Clara on Saturday, Jan. 11. The Tigers improved to 10-6 overall and 1-4 in West Coast Conference play. Santa Clara dropped to 10-9 and 3-3 in WCC play.
"We shook things up today, and the guys responded very well," said Head Coach Ron Verlin. "We did a great job of executing our offense and did a very good job on defense."
Pacific held the Broncos without a field goal for the six minutes of the game, opening up a 7-0 lead. Senior Sama Taku, coming off the bench for the first time in his Pacific career, scored five points in a 7-2 stretch to give the Tigers a 14-4 lead with 12:23 remaining. The Broncos went on a 15-3 run, sparked by a pair of three-pointers from Evan Roquemore to take a 24-23 lead at the 5:17 mark. A three-pointer by freshman David Taylor and a jumper from senior Ross Rivera gave the Tigers the lead back at 28-24 with 2:37 to go and Pacific finished the half with a 33-29 lead.
The Tigers' lead was cut to one with an opening three-pointer by Santa Clara's Jared Brownridge. Senior Trevin Harris scored four straight to spark an 8-0 run as Pacific pushed the lead back to nine (41-32) with 17:06 to play. The Broncos scored on a three-point play by Jalen Richard, but the Tigers surged again led by freshman David Taylor's five points in a 9-2 stretch to make it 50-37 with 11:35 left. Santa Clara cut the lead to six (64-58) after a three-pointer by Brandon Clark, but senior Andrew Bock answered with a three-pointer and Taku scored on a layup to make it a 69-58 Pacific lead with 3:28 to play. The Tiger lead would not fall below seven the rest of the way, as the team hit five of six free throws down the stretch.
The Tigers outshot SCU 53.8 percent to 35.2 percent from the field. Pacific also held a 39-30 edge in rebounding.Taku scored 19 points to lead the Tigers, while Bock had 16 and Harris added 13.
The Tigers are next in action with a road game at Saint Mary's on Saturday, Jan. 18. The game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start and will be televised by theW.tv.