Tigers Drop Tough Decision At Hawai'i

Sama Taku (photo by Matt Brown)
Sama Taku (photo by Matt Brown)

Honolulu, Hawai'i – The Pacific men's basketball team dropped a 60-52 road game at Hawai'i on Thursday, Jan. 17. With the loss, Pacific dropped to 9-8 on the season and 3-2 in Big West play. Hawai'i improved to 10-7 overall, 4-2 in league action.


Pacific got off to an early 8-4 start after baskets by four different Tigers. The Warriors turned it around quickly, getting eight points in a row from Hauns Brereton to take a 12-10 lead with 12:22 to play in the half. Pacific took the lead back after a layup from junior Sama Taku and a steal and layup from senior Rodrigo De Souza. The Tigers then fell behind 20-14 after the team missed the next five shots and committed two turnovers. Pacific went ahead again at 25-22 when senior Trevin Harris capped an 11-2 run with a three-pointer. The lead changes hands five times in the final four minutes, as the Warriors led 30-29 at the break. The Tigers hit just two of 15 three-point attempts in the first half.


With neither team lighting it up from the field, the Tigers fell behind 33-29 three minutes into the second half. A layup from Harris and a jumper from junior Tony Gill evened it at 33-33 with 14:38 to play in the game.  UH jumped back ahead 37-35, but the Tigers scored six straight, including four from Taku, to take a 41-37 lead with 11:22 to play. The teams traded the lead back and forth, as it changed hands 15 times in the game. It switched for the final time on the Tiger side when Gill hit a pair of free throws to give Pacific a 45-44 lead. A 5-0 run by UH tied it for the eighth time and gave the Warriors a 49-45 lead with 5:44 to go. It was the final lead change of the game. The Tigers scored the next three points on a free throw by Gill and a jumper from senior Lorenzo McCloud to get it back to 49-48 with 4:28 to play, but it went UH's way from there. With Pacific trailing 51-49, McCloud missed a pair of free throws and on the other end Vander Joaquim hit a three-pointer at the end of the shot clock to make it a 54-49 lead as part of the run. The Warriors used a 9-1 run to take a 58-49 lead with :36 seconds to play and held on from there.


Taku scored 15 points to lead the Tigers, while Gill added 12 points off the bench. Junior Khalil Kelley led the Tigers with a season-high 10 rebounds. Joaquim led Hawai'i with 16 points, including the 1,000th point of his career.


After shooting a season-best 63.6% from the field in the last game against Cal Poly, Pacific shot a season-low 30.9% (21-68) against Hawai'i. The team also set a season-low in three-point field goal percentage, hitting just three of 27 from the perimeter for 11.1%. The Tigers forced 23 turnovers, which resulted in a tie for the fifth best steal total in school history with 14.


Pacific is next in action with a road game at Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m.