Tigers Win On The Road At Santa Clara

Eric Thompson (photo by KeithSanpeiPhoto.com)
Eric Thompson (photo by KeithSanpeiPhoto.com)

Santa Clara, Calif. - The Pacific men's basketball team won on the road at Santa Clara 64-57 on Thursday, Feb. 26 at the Leavey Center. The Tigers improved to 12-17, 4-13 in West Coast Conference action, while Santa Clara dropped to 12-17 and 6-11 in WCC play.

"I am so proud of the way we played defense tonight," said Head Coach Ron Verlin. "The defense really set the tone early in the game tonight. Every guy on this team stepped up and made a stand. We did enough offensively to win and closed out down the stretch."

In a very defensive beginning to the first half, T.J. Wallace the Tigers a 2-0 lead on a short jumper. SCU evened it up and Gabriel Aguirre scored to make it a 4-2 Pacific lead with 16:29 left in the half. The teams then combined to miss nine straight shots and commit three turnovers, as the scored stayed at 4-2 for the next five and half minutes. The Tigers scored the next six points to make it 8-2, before Jared Brownridge scored eight straight points for SCU to even it up at 10-10 with 9:01 to play. Wallace then scored four points in a 7-2 stretch to give the Tigers their largest lead at 21-14 with 2:19 to play. The Broncos scored five of the last six points of the half to cut the Pacific lead to 22-19 at the break.

Eric Thompson scored the first basket of the second half and Aguirre added a free throw to give the Tigers a six point lead (25-19) in the first two minutes of the second half. The teams then traded points on the next seven possessions as the Tigers maintained a six point advantage (31-25) at the 16:22 mark. The Broncos cut the lead to three at 33-30, but a three-pointer by David Taylor answered to get the Tigers back out to a 36-30 lead. The Broncos cut the lead back to three on two more occasions (39-36 and 41-38), but an 10-4 stretch gave the Tigers their largest lead at 51-42 with 5:30 to play in the game. Pacific pushed the lead as high as 13 (60-47), holding on for the seven point victory.

Thompson and Bowles led four players in double figures with 11 points each. Aguirre and Wallace each had 10 points. Bowles led the Tigers with a career-high eight rebounds. Pacific was 21-51 (41.2%) from the field, while Santa Clara shot 43.4% (23-53). The Tigers held the Broncos to 30.8% shooting in the first half, but SCU bounced back to shoot 55.6% in the second half.

The Tigers are next in action with a road game at San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 28. The game is set for a 7:00 p.m. start and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.