Pacific Wins Tight One Over Cal State Fullerton, 71-67

Khalil Kelley (photo by Gary Jones)
Khalil Kelley (photo by Gary Jones)

Stockton, Calif. – All five starters scored in double figures as the Pacific men's basketball team held off Cal State Fullerton 71-67 on Saturday, Jan. 26. With the win, Pacific improved to 12-8 on the season and 6-2 in Big West play. Cal State Fullerton dropped to 11-9 overall, 4-4 in league action.


In the first three minutes of the game, neither team missed from the field as it was even at 12-12. The Titans took a 17-12 lead after five straight points from D.J. Seely and held a five point lead at 22-17. Pacific then went on a 10-2 run featuring six points from senior Travis Fulton to take a 27-24 lead.  After Seely hit another jumper, the Tigers extended the lead back to seven (35-28) after an 8-2 run. Pacific held a 35-30 halftime lead.


Senior Colin Beatty opened the second half with five points and the Tigers outscored the Titans 13-7 in the first five minutes to take their largest lead of the game (11 points) at 48-37 with 15:00 to play. Cal State Fullerton then used a 15-4 run, getting eight straight points from Kwame Vaughn, to even it up at 52-52 with 10:09 left to play in the game. The game was tied 10 times, including six times in the second half, all in the final 10 minutes (at 52-52, 53-53, 55-55, 57-57, 62-62 and 65-65). Pacific took a 65-62 lead on a three-point play by senior Lorenzo McCloud, but Alex Harris hit his fifth three-pointer of the game to even it at 65-65. Junior Khalil Kelley scored on a layup with 2:03 to go as Pacific took a 67-65 lead. The teams then traded turnovers and a missed jumper by Vaughn ended up with junior Sama Taku at the line for a one and one. He hit both to give Pacific a 69-65 advantage.  Vaughn then scored a layup on a putback, but Taku another pair of free throws to seal the victory. The Tigers never trailed in the second half, but Pacific held the Titans with field goal misses on three possessions in the final minute and had a steal.


McCloud led the Tigers with 14 points, while Fulton (13), Kelley (12), Beatty (11) and Taku (10) all added double figures in points. Kelley evened his season-high with his double figure effort. Seely had 23 points to lead Cal State Fullerton.


The Tigers shot 50.0% from the field, including 12-23 in the second half. The Titans were at 41.8% for the game, but 50.0% (12-24) from three-point range. Pacific hit eight of 13 three-pointers (61.5%) in the game. Pacific had a 30-18 advantage in points scored in the paint, while the Titans.


Pacific is next in action with a home game against UC Davis on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:30 p.m. It's the Tigers' Pacific Plays Pink game, as part of a doubleheader with Pacific's women's basketball team.