Tigers Outlast Spartans 99-96 In OT

Photo Courtesy of Jaslyn Gilbert
Photo Courtesy of Jaslyn Gilbert

SAN JOSE, Calif. – In their first overtime game of the year, the Pacific Tigers took down the San José State Spartans on the road 99-96.  Pacific is now 2-1 on the year, while San José State drops to 0-3.

Pacific had 25 second-chance points in the game thanks to 24 offensive rebounds, their most in a game since December 12, 2014 against Cal Maritime.  Four different Tigers had multiple offensive boards, led by Emily Simons' five.

GeAnna Luaulu-Summers became the first Tiger with ten or more assists in back-to-back games since Tine Freil in 1990, finishing the game with 14 points, four rebounds, ten assists, and five steals.

Chelsea Lidy set a new career-high in her first collegiate start, putting up 18 to go along with six rebounds.  It was the second game in a row Lidy had set a new career-high after scoring 14 against UC Merced. 

Jessica Blakeslee also set a career-best in points with her 11 in the game, draining three shots from deep.  The freshman had two blocks in the game as well, including a huge stuff in the lane in overtime.

The Spartans had the first bucket of the game but Pacific quickly found their pace, going on a 9-0 run from there.  The Tigers forced two airballs and two turnovers by San Jose State during that run as the home team started 1-for-5 in the face of stifling Tiger D.

Lidy had eight points after a first quarter that saw six different Tigers score.  The sophomore made four of her five shots in just six minutes of action to help the Tigers stake themselves to a lead at the first break.

At the half, the Tigers enjoyed a 43-36 lead in large part to their tenacious rebounding.  Pacific had 13 offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes, led by Mauriana Clayton's three in the second quarter alone.  Total, Pacific led 26-18 on the boards at half while forcing nine turnovers. 

Eight different Tigers scored in the first half as Pacific shot 42.2% (19-45).

An and-one on a three-pointer helped San José State cut it to four points before Tylah King and Jessica Blakeslee drained threes from the corner in the middle of the third.  Blakeslee had six points in the quarter, draining two threes.

The Tigers forced seven more turnovers in the first seven minutes of the third.  Unfortunately, Pacific was also called for seven fouls, pushing the free throw advantage to 15-0 through 30 minutes. 

The fourth started wonderfully for the Tigers as three triples from Luaulu-Summers gave the visitors their largest lead of the game at 83-70.  The Spartans put together a threatening 11-3 run at that point to close the gap.

San José State took the lead at 90-88 with under two minutes left.  Finnie's seven points in the quarter kept it close, with the junior leaping out of bounds to save a loose ball and give the Tigers the possession they needed to tie it back up on Lidy free throws. 

Najah Queenland ran down a rebound bouncing into the corner to give Pacific the chance to win the game with the shot clock off.  Out of the timeout, the Tigers managed an open look from three but had the shot rim out, heading to overtime.

With Luaulu-Summers forced to leave the game, Li took over the OT period with five points, including the go-ahead layup, and a steal with a minute remaining that helped seal the victory for Pacific.  Queenland also scored twice, picking up an offensive and defensive rebound in the process. 

Pacific returns home this Monday, November 21 to start a four-game homestand against UC Davis at 7:00 pm.