Tigers Get Last Second Win At Nevada In Verlin's Coaching Debut

Andrew Bock (photo by Gary Jones)
Andrew Bock (photo by Gary Jones)

Reno, Nev. – Senior Andrew Bock scored on a layup with :05 seconds left, as the Pacific men's basketball team picked up an 80-78 win at Nevada in the season opener on Friday, Nov. 8. The Tigers open up the season 1-0 with a win in first year Head Coach Ron Verlin's first game. Nevada starts out the season 0-1.

"Wow, what a way to start the year," said Verlin. "We had a tremendous effort on the boards in the second half and our team showed incredible resiliency to come away with this victory."

The Tigers fell behind 4-0, then scored 10 straight to take a 10-4 lead with 16:30 left in the half.  Senior Sama Taku scored five points in the early going to pace Pacific. Nevada cut it back with five straight points, but Pacific was able to push it back to 18-14 at the 12:17 mark with three-pointers from Senior Tony Gill and freshman T.J. Wallace. The Wolf Pack switched it up with a 12-4 run to take a 26-22 lead with 7:20 remaining. Gill hit another three to cap an 8-2 run and give the Tigers the lead back at 30-28. Five straight from the Wolf Pack made it 33-28, and Nevada increased the lead to five (42-37) at the break. The Tigers shot 48.1% (13-27) in the first half, but had nine turnovers.

A Bock layup capped an 8-2 stretch to pull to the Tigers to within 48-47 with 15:17 left in the game. The Wolf Pack stretched the lead to its largest at 55-47 at the 13:36 mark, but the Tigers immediately evened it up with an 8-0 stretch started by four straight from senior Ross Rivera. The teams traded the lead four times and had four ties as the game was tied for the seventh time at 61-61. Nevada again took a five point lead, but three-pointers from senior Trevin Harris and Gill gave Pacific a 67-66 advantage with 5:14 to play. A 7-0 Nevada run put the Tigers in a tough situation, as Pacific then trailed 73-67 with just 3:38 to play. The game of runs continued though, as the Tigers then scored seven straight on baskets by Rivera and senior Khalil Kelley and another run-ending three-pointer from Gill to lead 74-73 with 2:11 remaining. Deonte Burton hit a jumper in the lane to give Nevada the lead back and a layup by Gill and a pair of free throws took the Tiger lead to 78-75 with just :44 left. A three-pointer by Marqueze Coleman evened it for the final time at 78-78, before Bock's game-winner. Bock held the ball for the final :19 second possession, hitting the layup with :05 left. A three-pointer by Burton was just off the mark for Nevada.

Gill scored 12 of his career-high 22 points in the second half. Rivera had 14 points, Taku added 13 and Harris had 11 points. Burton led the Wolf Pack with 23 points.

The Tigers shot 53.4 % from the field (31-58), hitting eight of 11 from three-point range (72.7%). Pacific held a 32-31 rebounding advantage in the game, including a 21-12 edge in the second half.

Pacific is next in action in its home opener against UC Irvine on Tuesday, Nov. 12. The tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Alex G. Spanos Center.