Pacific Drops Tight One To Santa Clara

Sama Taku (photo by Gary Jones)
Sama Taku (photo by Gary Jones)

Stockton, Calif. – The Tiger men's basketball team dropped a 75-71 decision to Santa Clara on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Alex G. Spanos Center. The Tigers fell to 5-5, while Santa Clara improved to 8-2. 

An early hot start by both teams from the field gave Santa Clara a 16-12 lead with 14:49 left in the half. The teams combined to hit 12 of the first 18 shots from the field in just over the first five minutes. Junior Ross Rivera hit a pair of three-pointers in the next three and a half minutes as the Tigers used an 8-0 run to take a 20-18 lead with 11:21 to go. Santa Clara then went on a 7-0 run to make it 25-20, including a stretch of over seven minutes where they held Pacific scoreless. The Tigers held Santa Clara to just two points over the final 8:28, outscoring the Broncos 10-2 to take a 30-27 halftime lead. Senior Markus Duran hit a pair of three-pointers in the stretch to give the Tigers a spark off the bench.

A jumper by senior Travis Fulton to open the second half gave the Tigers their largest lead of the game (32-27). Pacific held a 45-40 lead with 13:12 to play, but the Broncos took a 50-47 lead with a 10-2 run that featured five points from Kevin Foster. The Tigers took a 63-60 lead after an 8-2 run that featured four points from senior Lorenzo McCloud. Foster then hit a three-pointer to tie and take the lead at 66-63. Junior Sama Taku hit a three-pointer with 1:20 to play, but Foster hit another trey and had a breakaway layup after a steal to give the Bronocs a 71-66 lead with :27 seconds to play. It marked a stretch of 13 straight points by Foster. McCloud made it a three point game (71-68) with a layup at the :17 second mark. The Broncos' Marc Trasolini and Evan Roquemore each hit a pair of free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Taku led the Tigers with a career-high 23 points and seven rebounds. McCloud was the only other Tiger to score in double figures.

Pacific shot 43.1% (22-51) from the field, but 50.0% (9-18) from three-point range. The Broncos shot just 36.9% (24-65) from the field, but had 16 offensive rebounds. The Tigers outscored the Broncos 23-6 in points off the bench.

Pacific is next in action with a road game at Saint Mary's on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 7:00 p.m.