Tigers Fall To Cal In DirecTV Classic Championship Game

Ross Rivera drive (photo by Matt Brown)
Ross Rivera drive (photo by Matt Brown)

Anaheim, Calif. - The Pacific men's basketball team dropped a 78-58 decision to California in the Championship Game of the DirecTV Classic on Sunday, Nov. 25 at the Anaheim Convention Center. With the loss, the Tigers' record evened at 3-3, while Cal improved to 6-0.

"I'm glad we represented the Big West well," said head coach Bob Thomason. "We're finding out what we do well and what we don't do well.  We've got to build on the confidence that we gained at this tournament." 

The Tigers fell behind early, as Cal scored the first seven points of the contest. A pair of layups from junior Ross Rivera and senior Lorenzo McCloud cut the lead to 9-4 with 16:46 to play. Pacific played catch up the rest of the half as Cal used a 10-0 run to take a 23-8 lead with 11:23 to play.  With Cal up 27-14, the Tigers used a 7-0 run with a jumper from senior Colin Beatty, a layup from senior Travis Fulton and a three-pointer from Rivera to make it 27-17 with 7:24 to play in the half. The Bears pushed the lead back up to 17 (36-19) and held a 41-27 lead at the break. Pacific hit just two of 12 three-point attempts in the first 20 minutes.

Rivera and Beatty scored the first four points of the second half as the Tigers quickly cut the lead to 10 (41-31).  After a basket by Allen Crabbe, Rivera hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to single digits (43-34) with 17:55 to play. The Bears extended back to a 13 point lead (53-40) with 13:36, when the Tigers made a steady climb to take a chunk out of the lead. Seven Tigers scored in a 14-6 run, capped by a Khalil Kelley short jumper to make it 59-54 with 6:42 to go. Crabbe scored in an immediate 7-0 Cal run to give the Bears breathing room at 66-54 with 5:25 to play. A pair of McCloud free throws made it 68-58 with 3:25 to go, but the Tigers would not score again as Cal finished with an 8-0 run for the 20 point victory.

Rivera led the Tigers with 13 points, while Beatty added 10 points. Crabbe led the Bears with 24 points. McCloud earned DirecTV Classic All-Tournament honors for the Tigers.
The Tigers shot 34.4% from the field, while Cal finished at 54.0%. Pacific shot a season-low 17.6% from three point range, hitting just three of 17 from the outside.

Pacific is next in at No. 16 Gonzaga on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 5:00 p.m.