Stockton, Calif. - After a three from Ilias Theodorou sent the contest into overtime, the Tigers could not get over the hump as they attempted to pull off the comeback against Pepperdine who survived to take a 65-63 win in extra time on Saturday night at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The loss for Pacific (7-16) marked the fifth one-possession loss at home for the Tigers who fell to 5-9 in WCC play while the Waves (16-10) swept the season series against Pacific and improved to 9-6 in conference action.
Down three with under :30 seconds to play in regulation, the Tigers were able to come up with the shot necessary to keep hope alive as Theodorou drained an off-balance three from the left angle to send the game to overtime. Theodorou's three, his second of the game, came with Pacific in the midst of a cold-shooting night in which the Tigers went just 6-for-25 from deep. Despite the three from the sophomore, the comeback was not to be as the Waves took advantage of their opportunities down the stretch, securing the lead with 2:09 to play in overtime and forcing a turnover on the final play of the game to preserve a two-point victory.
Throughout the night, the two sides scrapped in a hard-fought battle with Pepperdine taking control in the first half and pushing its lead to as much as nine points with 3:49 to play. Leading the charge for the Waves was Lamond Murray Jr. who came up with 10 of Pepperdine's 25 points as the Waves lead 25-16 thanks to a nearly five-minute scoreless drought for Pacific after the first media. Struggling to get going, the Tigers finally found their stride late in the first half as Pacific went on an 11-0 run to close out the final 3:30 of the half and take a two-point lead into the lockerroom. Pacific picked up points from four different players during the run with senior Alec Kobre netting a pair of mid-range jumpers around a three from Theodorou, his first of the game.
After the fury of the finish in the opening half, the second half became a slugfest as both teams traded shots with neither team being able to pull away from the other. Pacific would score the first basket of the half to extend the advantage to four at 29-25 and push the run to 13-0, but the Tigers could not press any further ahead as Pepperdine stayed close from the free throw line before taking back the lead seven minutes into the half. The Tigers would momentarily reestablish their advantage on a three-point play from Ray Bowles and again on a three from Kobre with 10:22 to play, but it would not be enough as the Waves used Pacific's off-shooting night to regain the lead and hold it until the final seconds of the game when Theodorou launched his game-tying three.
Down the stretch of the second half, the Waves made 7-of-10 from the line while Pacific went just 3-for-9. In overtime, Pepperdine was 5-for-7 while Pacific made 3-of-4. The Tigers had their chances in overtime to take the lead but a missed jumper and a turnover midway through the extra period kept Pacific in catchup mode for the remainder of the game.
Kobre finished the contest with a game-high 22 points despite going just 3-for-11 from deep. The senior's double-digit game marked his eighth-straight double-figure scoring effor as he went 8-for-17 from the floor and 3-for-4 from the line. Bowles ended his night with 10 points to go with five rebounds and five assists as Pacific notched 10 assists on 24 baskets in the game. The Tigers committed just nine turnovers in the contest and came up with a season-high six blocks. Pacific played without their captain for the first time on the year as T.J. Wallace missed his first game of the season due to injury. In addition, David Taylor, Pacific's other junior guard missed the game due to injury forcing sophomore point Maleke Haynes to play a season-high 39 minutes while netting six points, four rebounds, three assists, and a season-best three steals.
Matching Kobre nearly step-for-step, Murray Jr. finished his night with a team-high 20 points on 9-of-21 shoting. He would also grab eight rebounds. Stacy Davis closed the books on a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds while going 7-for-9 from the line. Jermey Major finished the game with 11 points to go with three rebounds and two assists. Pepperdine outrebounded the Tigers 46-to-33 in all as the Waves held Pacific to just four offensive rebounds.
Pacific's shooting woes were not limited to the three-point arc (24.0%) as the Tigers' shot just 42.9% (9-for-21) from the free throw line, marking season-lows in both categories. Despite the misfires from deep, Pacific still outshot the Waves in the game, 40-0%-to-38.9%.
The Tigers will look to regroup as they hit the road for a trip to the Pacific Northwest during which the Tigers face off against Gonzaga on Thursday, Feb. 18 in Spokane before heading to Portland on Saturday, Feb. 20.