Tigers Fall Late At Fresno State

Lorenzo McCloud (photo by Gary Jones)

Fresno, Calif. - The Pacific men's basketball team dropped a 66-61 decision to Fresno State at the Save Mart Center on Friday, Nov. 16. The Tigers dropped to 1-1, while FSU improved to 2-1.

Junior Ross Rivera scored the first four points of the game for the Tigers, to stake Pacific to an early 4-0 lead. The Bulldogs came back to take a 12-10 lead before the Tigers used a 14-3 run paced by four points from junior Tony Gill to take a 24-15 lead with 8:34 to play. FSU came right back with an 8-0 run, cutting the lead to 24-23 with 6:27 to go in the half. The Tigers pushed the lead back up to five (30-25), but the Bulldogs struck back again to even it up at 34-34 heading into halftime. Both teams shot well from the field (56%), while Pacific was outshot at the line 17-4 in the first half. Both teams shot 56% from the field.

With the Tigers up one in the early moments of the second half, Fresno State hit back-to-back three-pointers to take a five point lead (45-40). The Bulldogs extended the lead to as many as six, but the Tigers made their move trailing 55-50. Rivera capped a 7-1 run with a jumper to give the Tigers a 57-56 lead with 4:36 to play. The Tigers then hit a dry stretch, scoring just one point over the next four minutes as the Bulldogs used a 10-1 run to take control in the late stages of the game. In the final four minutes, Pacific was 0-4 from the field, 1-4 from the free throw line and had two turnovers until McCloud hit a three-pointer with seven seconds to play.

Both teams shot lower percentages in the second half, but the Bulldogs were a bit better from the field (36%-32%). A big second half difference was three-point shooting. Each team hit a pair of treys in the first half, but the Bulldogs hit five in the second half to the Tigers' one. Pacific missed its first seven three-pointers in the second half, before McCloud's last second three. Senior Colin Beatty had a career-high 10 rebounds to give the Tigers a 33-23 rebounding advantage.

McCloud led Pacific with 20 points, the only Tiger to reach double figures. Rivera and Taku each added eight points. Kevin Foster and Allen Huddleston each had 13 points to lead Fresno State.

The Tigers are next in action with a home game against Oral Roberts on Monday Nov. 19, with a 7:00pm start.