Stockton, Calif. –The Pacific men's basketball team held off Cal State Northridge 66-59 Thursday, Feb. 14 to pick up its seventh straight home win. With the win, Pacific improved to 14-10 on the season and 8-4 in Big West play. Cal State Northridge dropped to 13-13 overall, 4-10 in league action.
Pacific opened the game with a 5-0 lead, holding the Matadors scoreless for almost four minutes. The Tigers held the Matadors to 2-14 shooting to open the game as Pacific was able to take a 21-10 lead with 6:58 to play in the half. CSUN then scored eight straight points to cut the lead to 21-18 with 3:46 to go. The Tigers answered with a three-pointer from junior Trevin Harris, but CSUN countered with a three-pointer of its own from Josh Greene. The Matadors cut it to one (24-23), but the Tigers scored the last four points of the half, including a steal and dunk by senior Colin Beatty.
The Tigers led by seven early in the second half, but the Matadors closed the gap to 34-30 with 17:42 to go. Pacific then used a 7-0 run in under a minute, including five points from junior Sama Taku, to take a 41-30 lead. Minutes later the Tigers used 9-2 to run capped by a three-pointer from senior Markus Duran to take a game-best 16 point lead (53-37). The Matadors wouldn't go away though, as they scored the next nine points over a four minute span to move the Tiger lead down to 53-46 with 6:29 left in the game. Two quick jumpers from senior Travis Fulton pushed Pacific's lead back to 11 (57-46) at the 5:34 mark. The next four minutes were a struggle for the Tigers, as two missed free throws, two missed field goal attempts and two turnovers resulted in an 8-1 CSUN stretch that cut Pacific's lead to just 58-54 with 1:17 left. Senior Lorenzo McCloud stepped up and scored on a layup with just over a minute left to put the Tigers up six (60-54) and the lead did not fall below five the rest of the way. Senior Rodrigo De Souza hit all six of his free throw attempts in the final :40 seconds to seal the victory.
Fulton led the Tigers with 16 points, while De Souza added a career-best 15 points. Stephan Hicks and Stephen Maxwell each scored 16 points to lead CSUN.
The Tigers shot 50.0% from the field, improving to 9-0 when they hit at least half of their shots. The Matadors shot 38.8% from the field, hitting just three of 11 three-point attempts (27.3%). The Tigers had a season-high 18 turnovers, resulting in 12 points off of turnovers for CSUN.
Pacific is next in action with a home game against Hawai'i on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the Alex G. Spanos Center.