STOCKTON, Calif. - Pacific made 10-straight free throws late in the second half during a 15-1 run to pull away from Sacramento State, 74-58, Tuesday evening. The Tigers win their 18th-straight at home, including nine-straight by double digits, against the Hornets and improve to 8-0 all-time in the series in the Spanos Center.
The Tigers improve to 3-0 this season when allowing 69 points or fewer. The visitors entered Thursday averaging just 64.7 points per game, which ranked last in the Big Sky Conference and 322 out of 347 NCAA Division I programs.
Pacific (3-3) has won four-straight overall in the Spanos Center and finished 22-of-30 from the free throw line, including 17-of-23 in the final 20 minutes.
T.J. Wallace led all scorers with 19 points, including 17 after intermission, in the victory to lead three double-figure scorers. He tied a career-high with 10 made free throws, going 10-of-12 from the stripe. Wallace is now 16 points shy of 1,000 for his career and would become the 27th member of the 1,000-point club in program history.
"One of our goals is that we want to protect our home court," Wallace said. "We just have to continue to work because it's a long season. We're going to have some ups and downs but have to continue to fight together as a team."
Ray Bowles added 17 points in the win. David Taylor contributed 13 on 5-of-8 shooting, including 3-of-5 from deep. Tonko Vuko tied a career-high with 11 rebounds. Jack Williams had eight points, including a 6-of-7 effort from the free throw line, and as many rebounds, his third-straight contest with eight boards.
Anthony Townes pulled down seven boards, with four coming on the offensive end, for Pacific. Wallace and Bowles each grabbed five boards and dished out three assists. Wallace has led the team or shared the lead in assists in five-straight games.
Wallace and Vuko tallied two steals apiece.
Justin Strings scored 18 points in defeat. Eric Stuteville and Nick Hornsby had 15 and 10, respectively. Strings and Hornsby each had seven rebounds.
Pacific won the battle of the boards 44-34, including 10-4 on the offensive end. The Tigers turned 12 Hornet turnovers into 19 points and got 19 points from its bench.
The visitors finished 41.2 percent (21-of-51) shooting but just 30 percent (3-of-10) from beyond the arc and 52 percent (13-of-25) from the free throw line. Pacific shot 39.7 percent (23-of-58) from the floor and 40 percent (6-of-15) from deep, extending its streak of consecutive games with at least one trey made to 891.
Following the fourth tie of the night at 47 at the 9:51 mark of the second half, coach Damon Stoudamire's group outscored Sacramento State (1-6) 27-11 to close the game. The Orange and Black entered the bonus with 7:30 to play and reeled off 12-straight free throws over a 5:20 span, including 10 in just 1:46. Meanwhile, the Hornets managed only one point in five minutes.
"We came out in the second half like we usually do," Stoudamire said. "We were more aggressive and got stops."
Both teams struggled offensively to start the game, going scoreless the first 3:30.
Despite trailing by seven at the 6:54 mark of the first half, the Tigers trailed by only one, 32-31, at halftime. Pacific's reserves outscored Sacramento State 11-0 in the first 20 minutes. The Hornets shot 43.3 percent (13-of-30) in the first period, while the Tigers shot 39.4 percent (13-of-33). Bowles and Taylor each had eight points. Williams had six rebounds.
Pacific scored the first six points of the second half after a Wallace trey from the top of the key and opened the frame on an 8-2 run.
K.J. Smith and Bowles drained consecutive treys to put Pacific ahead 47-45 midway through the period.
Pacific travels to Big West Conference member Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. PT.