Pacific Gets First WCC Win, 80-68 Over Santa Clara

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

Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific men's basketball team picked up its first West Coast Conference win since returning to the conference with an 80-68 victory over Santa Clara on Saturday, Jan. 11. The Tigers improved to 10-6 overall and 1-4 in West Coast Conference play. Santa Clara dropped to 10-9 and 3-3 in WCC play.

"We shook things up today, and the guys responded very well," said Head Coach Ron Verlin. "We did a great job of executing our offense and did a very good job on defense."

Pacific held the Broncos without a field goal for the six minutes of the game, opening up a 7-0 lead. Senior
Sama Taku, coming off the bench for the first time in his Pacific career, scored five points in a 7-2 stretch to give the Tigers a 14-4 lead with 12:23 remaining. The Broncos went on a 15-3 run, sparked by a pair of three-pointers from Evan Roquemore to take a 24-23 lead at the 5:17 mark. A three-pointer by freshman David Taylor and a jumper from senior Ross Rivera gave the Tigers the lead back at 28-24 with 2:37 to go and Pacific finished the half with a 33-29 lead.

The Tigers' lead was cut to one with an opening three-pointer by Santa Clara's Jared Brownridge. Senior
Trevin Harris scored four straight to spark an 8-0 run as Pacific pushed the lead back to nine (41-32) with 17:06 to play. The Broncos scored on a three-point play by Jalen Richard, but the Tigers surged again led by freshman David Taylor's five points in a 9-2 stretch to make it 50-37 with 11:35 left. Santa Clara cut the lead to six (64-58) after a three-pointer by Brandon Clark, but senior Andrew Bock answered with a three-pointer and Taku scored on a layup to make it a 69-58 Pacific lead with 3:28 to play. The Tiger lead would not fall below seven the rest of the way, as the team hit five of six free throws down the stretch.

The Tigers outshot SCU 53.8% to 35.2% from the field. Pacific also held a 39-30 edge in rebounding.Taku scored 19 points to lead the Tigers, while Bock had 16 and Harris added 13.

The Tigers are next in action with a road game at Saint Mary's on Saturday, Jan. 18. The game is scheduled for a 5:00 p.m. start and will be televised by