Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific women's basketball team returns to the Spanos Center for the first time since Jan. 17, playing host to UC Riverside on Thursday at 5 p.m., and UC Irvine on Saturday in the fifth-annual Pacific Plays Pink game at 5 p.m. Both games will be double-headers with the Pacific men's team.
The Tigers (12-9 overall, 5-4 Big West) are coming off back-to-back wins to split a four-game road stretch. Pacific's defense smothered UC Santa Barbara for a 52-48 win, and the Tigers closed out Cal State Fullerton with a 10-5 run in the final eight minutes for a 69-64 road win last Saturday.
"We're super excited to be back home. When the schedule came out, we circled it and said that's going to be tough," head coach Lynne Roberts said. "I'm proud of our team and their resiliency. Considering all factors, we'll take it. We got through the grueling stretch and now we have to take care of business at home."
Five of the Tigers' final seven games will be at the Alex G. Spanos Center, where Pacific has a 7-2 record on the season. The Tigers are outscoring teams at home 701-602, an average of 77.9 to 66.9 per game. The two losses have come by a combined five points, a one-point loss to Saint Mary's on a basket with 1.8 seconds left, and a four-point loss to Big West leader Cal State Northridge.
Thursday's opponent, UC Riverside, enters at 5-17 overall, but have won three of the last four to improve to 3-7 in the Big West. Saturday, the Tigers will look to avenge a 77-75 overtime loss at UC Irvine, who enters the weekend at 10-13 overall and 6-4 in the Big West.
On Saturday, the Tigers will hold Pacific Plays Pink, as the Tigers will don their pink uniforms and team with St. Joseph's Medical Center in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer.
"We anticipate a fun day of Pacific basketball playing for a great cause," Roberts continued. "It's easy to get wrapped up in your life as a student-athlete, and to wear pink and play for something that's bigger than that is a really great experience. And this year, for the first time, the men's team playing a double-header with us, so it will be great to have them involved. We anticipate a really fun day of Pacific basketball."
The previous four Pacific Plays Pink games have averaged 1,694 in attendance, and include three of the top four Pacific women's basketball home attendance games. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game.