Fullerton, Calif. – The Pacific men's basketball team picked up a 64-55 road win at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, Feb. 28 in a Big West Conference game. It was the third road win in conference play for the Tigers. With the win, Pacific improved to 16-12 on the season, 10-5 in league play. Cal State Fullerton dropped to 14-14 overall and 6-9 in league action.
"It was a big road win for us," said Senior Travis Fulton. "We came out with a lot of energy tonight and played great defense."
The Tigers opened strong defensively, taking an early 11-1 lead. Pacific held the Titans to 0-6 shooting to start, with five turnovers. CSUF scrapped back outscoring the Tigers 12-2 to make it 13-10 with 7:24 left in the half. After the lead was cut to 15-13 with 6:14 to play, the Tigers finished the half very strong. In a 17-3 run to finish the half, Pacific hit its final six shots from the field, while holding the Titans to 1-7 shooting from the field. Fulton scored six of his team-best 12 first half points in the final three minutes to help Pacific to a 32-16 halftime lead.
Pacific scored the first four points of the final frame, to take a 20 point lead (36-16). After a Cal State Fullerton timeout, the Titans hit three three-pointers in a 13-0 run to cut the Pacific lead to 36-29 with 15:18 left. Senior Rodrigo De Souza ended the run with a three-pointer as Pacific countered with a 7-0 stretch to push the lead back to 14 (43-29). The Tiger lead reached 15 again (53-38) before the Titans made another push. CSUF outscored Pacific 13-3 over the next five minutes to make it just a five point Tiger lead (56-51) with 3:11 to play. Senior Colin Beatty then hit a runner and the Tigers forced three turovers and a missed shot, while Beatty and senior Lorenzo McCloud hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead back to 62-51 with just :44 seconds to play. Two more free throws from Beatty sealed it.
Fulton led the Tigers with 19 points, while Beatty added 11. Fulton and De Souza each grabbed seven rebounds to pace the team. Kwame Vaughn had 16 points to lead Cal State Fullerton.
The Tigers shot 48.9% from the field, including 11-20 (55.0%) in the first half. The Titans were held to 30.8% shooting for the game by the Tigers, including just 16.0% (4-25) in the first half. Pacific out-rebounded the Titans 36-29, though CSUF held a 13-10 offensive rebound advantage.
Pacific is next in action with its final road game of the season at UC Riverside on Saurday, March 2 at 5:00 p.m.