Tigers Get 80-70 Win Over Cal State Stanislaus In Exhibition Opener

Sama Taku (photo by Go Chic Photography
Sama Taku (photo by Go Chic Photography

Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific men's basketball team opened the 2013-14 exhibition season with an 80-70 victory over Cal State Stanislaus on Wednesday, October 30. It is the dawn of a new era of Pacific Basketball, with first-year head coach Ron Verlin earning his first exhibition win. The Tigers also return to the West Coast Conference this year, with their first WCC game against Saint Mary's two months from tonight's game (Dec. 30).

"I'm really happy with the way we played in stretches tonight," Said Head Coach Ron Verlin. "I thought our ball movement was great and showed with 18 assists on 23 field goals. Cal State Stanislaus played extremely well and gave us quite a game. It was great being able to get all 13 players in the game. We are looking forward to a few days of practice and getting back out there against Montana Tech on Sunday."

After falling behind 3-0, the Tigers hit back-to-back three-pointers on their first two possessions, taking a 6-3 lead. Leading 12-10, the Tigers went on a 9-3 run capped by five points in a row from freshman T.J. Wallace to take a 21-13 lead. The Warriors cut the lead back to 27-23, but a quick 10-2 spurt led by five points from senior Sama Taku gave the Tigers a 37-25 lead with 7:30 to play in the half. Taku scored four more points the rest of the way to get 19 in the first half and the Tigers took a 47-34 lead into the halftime break.

In the first four minutes of the second half, the Warriors hit four of five three-point attempts, using a 13-4 run to cut the Tiger lead to 51-48 with 16:28 to play in the game. Taku and senior Khalil Kelley each hit a pair of free throws to push the lead back to 55-48 with 15:11 to go. Stanislaus' Tyler Barber scored five straight to cut the Pacific lead to just 57-56 at the 13:59 mark, but senior Tony Gill answered with five straight points. Barber hit another three-pointer and Chris Read added a pair of free throws to get it back to 62-61 and the teams traded baskets to 66-65. Senior Trevin Harris then scored four straight in a 10-2 run that gave the Tigers some breathing room at 76-67 with 2:12 to go. Taku then iced it with a mid-range jumper to make it 78-69 with just 1:20 left in the game.

The Tigers cooled off from the field in the second half (38.5%) to end up shooting 48.1% for the game (25-52). The Tigers ended up with 19 assists on 25 field goals.

Taku led all players with 25 points, adding four assists and three steals.

The Tigers are next in action on Sunday, Nov. 3 with their final exhibition game against Montana Tech. The game is slated for a 4:00 p.m. start.