The Tigers took a 6-0 lead in the first two minutes as senior Lorenzo McCloud got it going early with four points. Landon Drew capped a 9-3 run with a three-pointer for CSUN to even it up at 9-9 with 13:53 to play in the half. Junior Ross Rivera came into the game and lifted the Tigers with 12 points in a 17-1 run that gave Pacific control of the game with a 26-10 lead at the 8:17 mark. The Matadors answered with six straight points, but a three-pointer by senior Markus Duran and a rebound putback by junior Khalil Kelley made it 31-16 with 5:57 to go. A short jumper by senior Travis Fulton gave Pacific its largest lead of the game (45-27) with :26 seconds to play and the Tigers held a 45-30 halftime lead.
In the opening four minutes of the second half, the Matadors came out quite aggressive and took the lead down to 49-40 after a 10-4 opening to the second half. Junior Tony Gill scored on a layup to push it back to 11 (51-40), but a three-pointer by Josh Greene capped an 8-2 Matador run that took the Tiger lead all the way down to 53-48 with 11:07 to play. With the Tigers up 58-53, Fulton hit a jumper and a pair of free throws to get the lead back to nine (62-53) with 8:56 to play. The lead stayed at eight or above the rest of the way, as Pacific was able to keep CSUN at arm's length. Strong defense, holding the Matadors to 0-8 shooting in the final 6:53 was a key to the Tigers' victory.
Rivera led the Tigers with 16 points, while Fulton added 12 points and McCloud had 10 points. Rivera and Gill each led the Tigers with five rebounds. Stephen Maxwell had 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead CSUN.
Pacific shot 49.0% for the game, including 61.5% in the first half and 36% in the second half. The Tigers had a 21-5 advantage in points off of turnover, but scored just two that way in the second half.
Pacific is next in action with a home game against UC Riverside on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m.