Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific men's basketball team dropped a tough 69-67 decision to Oral Roberts at the Alex G. Spanos Center on Monday, Nov. 19. The Tigers dropped to 1-2 with the loss, while Oral Roberts improved to 2-1.
"It was a great game and I love coaching games like that," said Tiger head coach Bob Thomason. "I'm really proud of our guys for overcoming a tough second half start."
The Tigers trailed early, but evened it up at 7-7 on a basket by Khalil Kelley at the 17:23 mark. Steven Roundtree scored four points in a 6-1 stretch to give the Golden Eagles a 13-8 lead with 14:52 to play in the half. The Tigers cut the lead back to one (15-14) after a pair of jumpers from junior Tony Gill and senior Travis Fulton. ORU pushed the lead back up to 26-19 with 7:53 to go after a six points in a row from Damen Bell-Holter. Pacific then countered with a turn-around jumper from junior Ross Rivera and a three-pointer by senior Lorenzo McCloud to make it 26-24. Six in a row by the Golden Eagles took it to a then game-high eight point lead (32-24). The Tigers clawed back to make it 37-34 at halftime after a late three-pointer from Gill.
Pacific was held scoreless over the first four minutes of the second half, while ORU hit four of its first five shots to take a 45-34 lead with 16:29 to play. The Tigers again pushed back, with three-pointers on two straight possessions from junior Trevin Harris and Gill making it 50-48 with 11:34 to go. After a three-pointer from senior Rodrigo De Souza evened the score at 53-53, another three from Harris gave the Tigers their first lead (60-57) since 2-0 in the opening minute. Five straight points by the Golden Eagles (all at the foul line) gave ORU a 62-60 lead with 3:36 to play, but McCloud hit his third trey of the game to give Pacific a 63-62 lead. In the next two minutes Damen Bell-Holter hit a three-pointer to give ORU a 65-63 lead, which was followed by a Rivera jumper to knot it at 65-65. Warren Niles hit a free throw line jumper to give the Golden Eagles 67-65 and after a missed three-pointer by Rivera, hit a layup to give ORU a four point lead. McCloud hit a layup in the final seconds, but the Tigers could not get the ball back and ORU held on for the win.
Both teams shot well from the field, as the Tigers were barely outshot by the Golden Eagles 50.0% (25-50)-49.1% (27-55). Pacific hit a season-high 10 three-pointers, shooting 52.6% from three-point range. The Tigers were out-rebounded 36-22.
McCloud led the Tigers with 13 points and seven assists, while Kelley added 11 points. Five Tigers each had three rebounds in the game. Niles led the Golden Eagles with 26 points.
The Tigers are next in action at the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim, with a game against Xavier on Thursday at 11:00am. The game will be televised nationally by ESPNU.