SAN DIEGO - Pacific ended an eight-game road losing streak Thursday evening, holding off San Diego in a defensive slugfest, 56-53. The Tigers end a two-game losing streak in Jenny Craig Pavilion and improve to 7-0 this season when holding opponents under 69 points.
With former Arizona and Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson in attendance Thursday, Damon Stoudamire earned his first victory in West Coast Conference (WCC) play and on the road as a head coach.
Pacific (7-9, 1-2 WCC) has won nine of the last 10 meetings, including six-straight, against San Diego (7-8, 0-3 WCC) when scoring 56 points or more. The Tigers have held the Toreros to 60 points or less in 9-of-17 all-time meetings.
The Tigers improve to 6-0 this season when holding opponents under 40 percent shooting, as the Toreros managed just a 30.8 percent (16-of-52) clip, including a paltry 20.8 percent (5-of-24) in the first 20 minutes. San Diego also struggled from 3-point range, connecting on just 16 percent (4-of-25) of its attempts, including an 0-of-11 effort in the second half.
Pacific shot 36.7 percent (18-of-49) from the floor and for the second-consecutive game 50 percent (5-of-10) from deep while extending its streak of consecutive games with at least one made trey to 901.
San Diego's Frank Ryder finished with 11 points to lead four players in double figures, as Brett Bailey, Tyler Williams and Olin Carter III each netted 10. Cameron Neubauer pulled down 11 rebounds.
San Diego kept the game close shooting a perfect 17-of-17 from the charity stripe, as the Tigers only trailed for 14 seconds Thursday.
Bowles broke a 47-all tie with a trey from the wing with 2:57 to play to give his team the upper hand for good. The Toreros closed within one point three times down the stretch, the last coming with 33 seconds on the clock after a Williams layup, but Wallace made two free throws 12 seconds later to push the difference back to three. A Carter III three-pointer to tie the game as time expired drew the back of the iron.
Pacific shot 11-of-16 from the line in the second half.
Both teams struggled to establish rhythm offensively all night, as Wallace was the first player to enter double figures with 13:30 remaining in the second half. The Teoreros made only two shots in the first seven minutes of the period. Meanwhile, Pacific increased its advantage to nine, 35-26, following a D.J. Ursery jumper in transition.
San Diego countered with a 7-0 run, but Wallace converted a four-point play to help the Tigers stretch their lead back to two possessions at 41-35 with 9:25 to play.
A Neubauer layup with 3:47 remaining forced the third tie of the contest before Bowles' dagger 50 seconds later.
Pacific led by as many as six, 17-11, in the first period after Bowles converted the second of two free throw attempts. The Tigers led 23-20 at intermission on the strength of a stingy defense that gave up only five made baskets.
The Tigers scored the first four points of the second half to lead by seven, making three of their first six shots.
Pacific continues WCC play Saturday at BYU. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.