Long Beach, Calif. – The Tigers dropped a tough Big West Conference opener 67-63 at Long Beach State on Saturday, Dec. 29. With the loss, Pacific dropped to 6-7 on the season and 0-1 in Big West play. Long Beach State improved to 5-7 overall, 1-0 in league action.
The Tigers took a 6-0 early lead, holding the 49ers scoreless for nearly the first four minutes of the game. Six points from senior Lorenzo McCloud in an 11-5 run gave Pacific a 17-8 lead with 6:53 to go in the half. The 49ers cut it back to 19-14 at the 4:11 mark, but a pair of three-pointers from junior Trevin Harris gave Pacific its largest lead of the game at 25-14 with 2:53 to play. LBSU finished the half with a 7-1 run to cut the Tiger lead to 26-21 at the break.
In the early moments of the second half, Long Beach State hit its first five shots (including three three-pointers), to take a 36-35 lead with 14:47 to play. The teams traded the lead back and forth until a tip-in from junior Khalil Kelley knotted the game at 44-44. With the game evened up, Mike Caffey hit a three-pointer at the end of the shot clock and Tony Freeland hit a pair of free throws to give the 49ers a 49-44 lead. McCloud countered on the other end with a trey to make it 49-47 with 9:20 to go. Caffey then scored five points in a 9-1 run to give the 49ers their largest lead of the game (58-48) with 6:30 remaining. Harris capped a 7-2 stretch over three minutes, hitting a big three-pointer to get Pacific within two (65-63) with just :28 seconds to play. It was followed by one free throw by Peter Pappageorge of LBSU. The Tigers then had a possession to tie, but turned the ball over. Keala King hit one of two free throws to make it a four point game (67-63) and the Tigers were not able to close the gap further.
McCloud and Harris each had 13 points to lead the Tigers. Junior Tony Gill added 10 points and a career-high eight rebounds. Caffey and James Ennis each had 19 points to lead Long Beach State.
Pacific shot 39.3% from the field, while the 49ers hit 47.6% of their shots. LBSU was 14 for 23 in the second, a 60.9% clip. The Tigers held a 39-28 rebounding advantage, including a 15-7 offensive rebound lead. Pacific had just a 12-10 edge in second chance points. The Tigers' bench produced on the evening, outscoring the 49ers' bench 26-1.
Pacific is next in action with a road game at UC Davis on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 7:00 p.m.