Tigers Fall At West Coast Conference Tournament

T.J. Wallace (photo by KeithSanpeiPhoto.com)
T.J. Wallace (photo by KeithSanpeiPhoto.com)

Las Vegas, Nev. - The Pacific men's basketball team dropped its West Coast Conference Tournament opening round game to San Francisco 62-58 on Friday, March 6 at the Orleans Arena. The Tigers finished the season 12-19 overall, while USF improved to 14-17.

"I thought we were really prepared for this game," said Head Coach Ron Verlin. "We had great shots that just didn't go in. I have a really young team that has worked hard for me all year and they'll continue to work hard in the future."

The Tigers opened the game with five straight points, getting a three-pointer from David Taylor and a pair of free throws from T.J. Wallace. Another trey from Taylor gave Pacific an 11-5 lead and the Tigers led 14-9 following a Dulani Robinson three-pointer at the 11:46 mark. Pacific then went cold from the field, missing its next four shots and going scoreless for the next four minutes. USF evened it up at 14-14, but the Tigers took another four point lead (21-17) with another stretch finished by a Taylor three-pointer. Another three-pointer from Robinson gave the Tigers a 24-19 lead, before Devin Watson scored five points in a 9-2 run to give the Dons a 26-24 lead with 1:56 to play. A layup from Wallace evened it up at 28-28 with :06 left as the game was tied at halftime.

In the final 20 minutes, the Tigers missed their first eight shots from the field, before Eric Thompson connected on a layup with 14:15 to play in the game to make it a 35-32 USF lead. The Dons pushed the lead to 41-35, but a layup by Sami Eleraky and a three-pointer from Wallace cut the lead to 41-40 with 9:20 to play. That started a stretch where Wallace score seven of the Tigers' next eight points, returning after leaving the game with a stinger in his left shoulder. Wallace's final point of that stretch was a free throw that made it a 47-45 USF lead with 6:56 remaining. A pair of three-pointers stretched the Dons' lead to their largest of the game at 53-45 with 5:33 to play. Pacific chopped away at the lead, cutting it back to two (60-58) with :23 to go. Tim Derksen hit a couple of free throws and the Tigers missed their final three shots in the final seconds.

Wallace led the Tigers with 14 points, while Taylor added 13. Thompson had a team-high eight rebounds and five points. The Tigers had a large rebounding advantage, out-boarding the Dons 45-31. That included 18 offensive rebounds for Pacific, that led to 14 second chance points. Pacific was 18-59 (30.5%) from the field, while USF shot 40.0% (18-45).