Stockton, Calif. – Junior Tony Gill scored a career-high 17 points to lead the Pacific men's basketball team to an 80-62 home win over UC Santa Barbara at the Alex G. Spanos Center on Thursday, Jan. 10. With the win, Pacific improved to 8-7 on the season and 2-1 in Big West play. UC Santa Barbara dropped to 5-10 overall, 1-3 in league action.
Pacific fell behind 9-5 in the opening minutes, as Alan Williams scored six early points. Seven quick points off the bench from Gill gave the Tigers a 12-9 lead with 15:04 to play in the half. With the Tigers leading 15-13, Pacific outscored the Gauchos 11-2 over the next three minutes to take a 26-15 lead with 8:24 to play. A pair of three-pointers from senior Markus Duran keyed the run for the Tigers. UCSB cut the lead back to eight (26-18), but Pacific pushed it back up to 36-21 after a 10-3 run. The Tigers led 38-25 at the break.
The Gauchos scored the first five points of the second half, cutting Pacific's lead to 38-30 with 18:48 to play in the game. Senior Lorenzo McCloud answered back for the Tigers, hitting a free throw line jumper to get the lead back to 10 at 40-30. Holding a 41-33 lead, Duran capped a 9-0 Tiger run to give Pacific a 17-point lead (50-33) with 14:52 to go. The Gauchos got back to within 12 (60-48), but a 14-2 run sparked by three-pointers on three straight possessions by junior Sama Taku, senior Travis Fulton and Gill put the game out of reach at 74-50 with just 5:52 to play.
Gill led the Tigers with 17 points, hitting all six of his shots from the field. Fulton and junior Ross Rivera each added 11 points. Duran added a season-high nine points. Senior Rodrigo De Souza had a career-high seven assists as part of an amazing 23 assists on 27 field goals for Pacific. Williams led the Gauchos with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Pacific shot 48.2% from the field, including a 56.5% clip in the second half. The Tigers also shot 46.4% from three-point range, hitting a season-high 13 from long range. Pacific also had a season-low five turnovers and a season-best 11 steals.
Pacific is next in action with a home game against Cal Poly on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 7:00 p.m. It is Blackout Saturday, where all fans are encouraged to wear black.