Pacific's Rally Falls Short At Portland
University of the Pacific men's basketball team dropped its second straight league game with a 72-64 loss at Portland on Thursday, Jan. 2. The Tigers dropped to 9-4 and 0-2 in West Coast Conference play. Portland improved to 9-6 and 1-2 in WCC play.
The Tigers held Portland to 0-10 shooting to start the game. Pacific was unable to take advantage, with only a 6-4 lead in the first five minutes. The Pilots took their first lead at 11-8 on a three-pointer by Bobby Sharp and extended to a 16-10 lead with 9:41 left. The Tigers then outscored the Pilots 6-2 with three-pointers from seniors Trevin Harris and Sama Taku, making it 18-16 with eight minutes left. After pushing the lead up to 21-16, the Tigers struck back with five points from senior Ross Rivera in an 8-3 run to make it 25-24 with 3:32 remaining in the half. The Pilots scored six straight to take a 33-26 lead and held a 35-28 halftime lead.
Pacific started out the second half 1-7 from the field, as Portland outscored the Tigers 6-0 to take a 41-28 lead with 18 minutes to play. The Pilots extended the lead to 14 (45-31), before the Tigers began a big rally. Pacific chopped it to seven (48-41) after a three-point play from Taku capped a 10-3 run. After Portland pushed it back to 53-44, the Tigers scored seven straight with a pair of free throws from Harris making it 53-51 with just 6:28 to play. Freshman T.J. Wallace had a three-point attempt that was just off the mark that would have given the Tigers the lead on their next possession. Portland then scored six straight to push the lead back to 59-51 with 3:32 to play. Pacific wouldn't get closer than five the rest of the way.
Taku led the Tigers with 19 points, Harris had a season-high 15 points and Rivera had 12 points. Pacific shot just 32.9% from the field. The Pilots held a 52-37 advantage on the boards, including 16 offensive rebounds.
The Tigers are next in action at No. 24 Gonzaga on Saturday, Jan. 4. The game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. start and is being televised by Root Sports.