STOCKTON, Calif. – The Pacific men's basketball team stunned a very strong UC Irvine squad on Saturday night, defeating the Anteaters 84-75 in overtime at the Alex G. Spanos Center.
The Tigers improve to 10-5, marking the first time that a Pacific team has opened Conference play with 10 wins. The last time the Tigers' program opened with a better record was the 2007-08 season, when they started at 11-4.
UC Irvine falls to 11-4 on the season.
In case you missed it
- The Tigers took an early 9-7 lead (16:09), but the Anteaters answered with a 7-0 run that gave them a five-point advantage (14-11) with 12:29 to play.
- Pacific tied the game for the first-of-five times in the half, following two made free throws by Kendall Small at 10:30.
- The score was tied at 18-18, 20-20, 22-22 and 25-25, with the final tie coming after a three-point play by Ajare Sanni at the 5:05 mark.
- The Tigers went on a 9-3 run to close out the first 20 minutes with a six-point lead (34-28).
- Sanni and UCI's Max Hazard led all players with 10 points a piece.
- Pacific held its momentum in the start of the second half, going up by as many as seven points (40-33) in the first six minutes.
- At 12:39 UCI went on a 6-2 run, thanks to consecutive made three pointers by Anteaters' Evan Leonard, to knot the game up at 43-43.
- The score was tied five more times and neither team held a lead larger than four-points the remainder of the second half.
- With the score tied at 54-54 and just 5:20 left to play, Roberto Gallinat went 1-for-2 at the free throw line and Small made a short jumper in the paint to put the Tigers up by three (5:05).
- The Anteaters went on a 7-0 run, taking its largest lead (61-57) since 12:56 in the first half.
- Pacific used a 6-1 run down the stretch to force UC Irvine to its first overtime contest of the season. Three made free throws by Jahlil Tripp diminished UCI's lead to just one point (61-60) with just 2:31 left to play.
- UCI went up by three once more, but Gallinat answered right back with a made jumper and an opportunity to tie the game after being fouled on his shot. Gallinat made the extra point to tie the game at 63-63.
- A final shot by UCI with 0.8 left on the clock hit left of the hoop and the game went to overtime.
- Pacific scored 10-consecutive points to open the five minute overtime period.
- Sanni knocked down two of his three long balls in the first 1:55. A made layup and consecutive made free throws by Gallinat put the Tigers up 73-63.
- Despite UCI coming back within single-digits, consecutive fast-break baskets by Sanni and Small gave the Tigers their largest lead of the contests (11 points) with just 1:41 remaining in the period.
- A double-technical foul put the both teams on the line for a combined six free throws. Gallinat made four free throws to put the Tigers up by 12, but the Anteaters made two free throws en route to a 4-0 run that would put them back within eight points (82-73).
- Three final free throws for the Tigers sealed the victory and with one final jumper by UCI, the game with final at 84-75.
- Sanni was named the City of Stockton Human Resources Hardworking Player of the Game after leading the Tigers with 23 points. The freshman from Houston, Texas scored 10 of the Tigers 21 points in overtime, including consecutive three-pointers to open the five minute overtime.
- Gallinat scored 14 points in the second half and six points in overtime to secure his fourth 20-point performance of the season. Gallinat was just 2-for-8 from the field, but made 15-of-18 attempts from the free throw line.
- Tripp finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
- Anthony Townes pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
- Small had his best performance of the season, totaling season-highs of nine points and four steals.
As a Team
- The Tigers out-scored the Anteaters in the paint (20-18), off of turnovers (21-15), on second chance balls (11-7), and bench points (41-16).
- Pacific held the edge in rebounds (37-35), assists (11-9). Both teams recorded seven steals.
- UOP shot 41.8 percent (23-55) from the field, 35.7 percent (5-14) from beyond the arc, and 76.7 percent (33-43) from the free throw line.
- The Tigers finish as just one of two teams this season to score more than 75 points against UCI.
Pacific will open West Coast Conference play at home on Thursday, January 3 when its hosts BYU. The game against the Cougars will air on ESPN at 8:00 p.m.
Follow the Tigers
For more information about the Pacific men's basketball team, be sure to follow them on twitter (@PacificMensBB) and on Instagram (pacificmensbb). Fans can also have access to score updates, statistics, game recaps, and more by downloading the Pacific Tigers Front Row app, which is available for free in the App Story or through Google Play.