Tigers Fall Just Short To LMU, 67-66

Tigers Fall Just Short To LMU, 67-66

STOCKTON, Calif. - Anthony Townes scored a career-tying 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, but the last of 16 lead changes went to Loyola Marymount as Pacific fell 67-66 on Senior Night at the Alex G. Spanos Center Saturday.

Senior Ray Bowles scored 14 points with eight assists, senior T.J. Wallace finished with nine points and senior Tonko Vuko added six points and five boards in their final home games at the Alex G. Spanos Center. Jack Williams added 14 points, hitting four three-pointers. Townes added seven rebounds to go with his 22 points, and also picked up a pair of steals.

Pacific out-shot LMU, 40.7 percent (22-of-54) to 38.8 percent (19-of-49), and outscored the Lions in the paint, 28-24. The Lions hit 24-of-32 from the free throw line, to the Tigers 16-of-24. The Tigers received 37 bench points, with Townes and Williams giving up their starts to Sami Eleraky and David Taylor for senior night.

LMU scored the first six points of the contest. Bowles got to the free throw line twice, and hit three to cut the gap in half. Townes tipped home a missed lay-up, and Williams canned a three as Pacific kicked off a 6-0 run to take an 11-10 lead. Townes scored inside for a 13-12 advantage.

Tied at 14, Pacific used an 8-2 run to take a 22-16 lead as Williams connected on a three and Bowles converted an and-one. Wallace drained a triple for a 27-18 lead, but LMU closed within 30-25 on an and-one from Petr Herman. Bowles scored inside and Townes finished while being fouled for a 34-26 lead. But Steven Haney hit a three for LMU as the Tigers led by five at the half, 34-29.

Pacific held a 21-15 advantage in rebounding in the first half, leading to a 10-4 margin in second chance points. The Tigers shot 44 percent from the field (11-of-25) while holding Loyola Marymount to 34.6 percent (9-of-26).

The Lions picked up the first two points of the second half, before Tonko Vuko canned a three from the corner. But Brandon Brown answered with a three, and Herman added a lay-up to close within 37-36. A pair of free throws from Herman put the Lions in front, after a long two from Williams, Brown answered back with a triple. Wallace scored inside to cut the LMU lead to 43-42, but Stefan Jovanovic dunked from the baseline and the Lions led 48-44.

Williams fed Townes for a lay-up, and then added a jumper to close within 50-48, but LMU hit three free throws on a pair of fouls, including Wallace's fourth with 8:29 to go. Bowles converted an and-one to pull within two, at 53-51. Townes finished inside, and Williams tied the game at 57-57 with a three with 5:38 to play. LMU reeled off four straight free throws to go back in front, 61-60, with 4:03 remaining. Townes hit a pair of free throws to get the lead back, but Wallace was whistled for his fifth on an apparent steal, and Brown hit both bonus free throws with 3:29 to go. Townes got to the line and hit a pair with 3:18 remaining, but Buay Tuach took it to the rim and finished with 1:23 remaining. Townes finished inside for the lead with 1:10 on the clock. Brown drove to the rim for a lay-up with 26 seconds to go. After LMU knocked a pass out of bounds, the Tigers inbounded and fed Townes inside, but Herman was credited for a block and he swept across Townes in the paint. The Tigers retained possession with 1.2 seconds left, but couldn't Bowles' fade-away hit off the front of the rim as time expired.

Eight lead changes and three ties occurred in the final five minutes of the contest.

Brown led LMU with 24 points, while Jovanovic added 15 points. Herman finished with 10 points as the Lions improved to 15-14 overall and 8-10 in the West Coast Conference.

Pacific falls to 10-21 overall and 5-13 in the WCC and will be the No. 9 seed in the West Coast Conference Championship in Friday's first round, tipping off against Pepperdine at 6 p.m. in Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.