Tigers Get Road Win At Loyola Marymount

David Taylor (photo by John Shaffer)
David Taylor (photo by John Shaffer)

Los Angeles, Calif. - The Pacific men's basketball team picked up a 77-63 West Coast Conference road win at Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Jan. 1. The Tigers improved to 9-6, 1-2 in WCC action, while the Lions dropped to 4-10 and 0-2 in WCC play.

"I was really pleased with the way we came out defensively in the first half," said Tiger Head Coach Ron Verlin. "David gave a us a real nice lift offensively, but this was a really big team win. We took a big run from LMU in the second half, but made plays to be able to hold them off."

"I really focused on defense today and that sort of sparked my offense," said David Taylor. "I'm really happy how we came out today and picked up a really big win."

A three-pointer from T.J. Wallace and a dunk by Eric Thompson started the game for the Tigers as they took a 5-0 in the first two minutes. LMU cut it back to 10-7, but a three-pointer by Taylor started a 6-0 stretch as Pacific took a 16-7 lead with 14:10 to play in the half. LMU's Marin Mornar finished a 9-3 run with a three-pointer to cut the Tiger lead to 19-16 with just under eight minutes to play in the half. The Tigers continued to slowly push the lead forward, outscoring the Lions 11-4 over the next six minutes to claim their largest lead at 34-23 at the 2:10 mark. Pacific ended up with a 36-27 halftime lead.

LMU started out the second half with a 10-3 run to cut the Tigers' lead to 39-37 at the 16:08 mark. With Pacific leading 41-39, five Tigers scored in a 12-3 run that pushed the lead to 11 (53-42) with 12:15 to play in the game. The lead was pulled back to nine (57-48), but a free throw by Gabriel Aguirre and a three-pointer from T.J. Wallace gave the Tigers a 13 point advantage with 9:22 to go. Evan Payne, who scored 27 for LMU, hit a three-pointer to cut the lead back to 10 (63-53), but the Tigers' lead would not drop below 10 the rest of the way.

Taylor led the Tigers with a career-high 20 points. Aguirre added 15 point on 5-7 shooting from the field. Pacific shot a season-best 57.4% from the field, including 66.7% in the second half (14-21). Pacific took advantage of 16 LMU turnovers to hold a 18-11 edge on points off of turnovers. The Tigers had 18 assists on 27 field goals, including a career-high six from Wallace.

Pacific is next in action with a road game at Pepperdine on Saturday, Jan. 3. Game time is set for 5:00 p.m.