STOCKTON, Calif. - Pacific fell to Fresno State 70-68 on Saturday in overtime after erasing a 13-point, second-half deficit. The Bulldogs end a two-game losing streak in the Alex G. Spanos Center, while the Tigers see their five-game win streak in the arena end.
"It was a hard fought game by both teams," Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire said. "We overcame a lot, foul trouble, we had a couple of opportunities to get rebounds at the end of regulation (that) we didn't get, but it was a tough game against a team that went to the (NCAA) tournament last year. We fought them to the end, but unfortunately we came up just a little short."
Five Tigers fouled out, compared to just one Bulldog, in a game that featured a combined 55 whistles. The game featured 12 ties and eight lead changes, including seven ties and four lead changes after intermission.
Paul Watson scored 18 points to lead four players in double figures for Fresno State (8-3) while also pulling down nine rebounds. Bryson Williams and Cullen Russo each scored 13 points, while Jaron Hopkins had 11 points and seven rebounds. Jahmel Taylor, who entered Saturday as the nation's third-best 3-point shooter by percentage, was held to eight points and just 2-of-6 from the field and 2-of-4 from deep.
T.J. Wallace pumped in 17 points, including 5-of-7 shooting and a perfect 6-of-6 mark from the charity stripe, for Pacific (4-7) and moved past Andy Franklin into 24th on the school's all-time scoring list. Now with 1,028 career points, Wallace trails Vic Baker by six points for sole possession of 23rd, former No. 1 pick in the 1998 NBA draft Michael Olowokandi by 12 points for 22nd, Dave Klurman by 13 points for 21st and Leo Middleton by 17 for 21st.
Pacific's Anthony Townes ended with a double-double and nearly reached the feat in the first half, tallying 10 of his 16 points and six of 12 rebounds in the period. Townes posted his second-career double-double and second in three games. Ray Bowles contributed 16 points, five assists and five rebounds. Tonko Vuko added eight points and as many boards.
Fresno State shot 39.7 percent (23-of-58) in the game but missed 16 free throws (17-of-33). The visitors were 35 percent (7-of-20) from distance.
Pacific shot 45.5 percent (25-of-55) Saturday, including 60.9 percent (14-of-23) in the second half and 4-of-6 from deep and 8-of-11 from the free throw line in the period. The Tigers finished with five made treys, extending their streak of consecutive games with at least one made 3 to 896.
Pacific posted 16 assists for the second-straight game, tying a season-high. The Tigers outrebounded the Bulldogs 43-35.
Fresno State entered the bonus less than six minutes into the first half without being called for a foul.
After starting just 3-of-9 from the floor, the Tigers made four of their next seven. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs connected on a paltry 4-of-15 to start the game.
Trailing 19-18, a Russo trey triggered a 14-2 spurt. A Watson 3 made the score 32-21 in favor of Fresno State, which led 32-23 at halftime.
Pacific shot 50 percent from the floor to open the first four minutes of the second half. A Vuko two-handed flush trimmed the Tiger deficit to five.
The Bulldogs led by 13 points 56 seconds into the second half and held a 49-39 edge before the home team countered with a 12-0 run, with Wallace scoring the first five. A Bowles trey with the shot clock running down tied the contest with six minutes left in regulation, and three Townes offensive rebounds on the team's next offensive series led to a putback and 51-49 upper hand.
A Bowles trey from the corner at the two-minute mark broke a 57-all tie, the ninth of the affair. A Bowles free throw increased the margin to five with 40 seconds on the clock, but a Hopkins layup and Taylor 28-foot bucket with 6.7 seconds left tied the game at 63. A Jacob Lampkin jumper as time expired missed the mark and sent the game into extra time.
Wallace made two free throws to open the scoring in the extra period, and a Maleke Haynes 14-foot jumper pushed the difference to two possessions, but the Bulldogs countered with a 5-0 run, as Terrell Carter II converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Bulldogs a 68-67 advantage.
Bowles made 1-of-2 free throws on the next trip down the court to tie the game at 68 before Fresno State took the lead for good after Watson made two free throws with 29 seconds left. After a Tiger timeout, Bowles drove to the basket but narrowly missed a game-tying layup, and a Haynes putback attempt as time expired also missed the mark.
Pacific hosts Atlantic Sun Conference member Kennesaw State on Tuesday, Dec. 20 in the Tigers' final game of the fifth annual Gotham Classic. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. PT.