Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific men's basketball team defeated Menlo College 84-73 in its final pre-season home game on Saturday, December 14. With the victory, the Tigers improved to 8-1 on the season, while Menlo College dropped to 2-7.
The Tigers took an early 10-6 lead four minutes into the game. Senior Khalil Kelley scored eight of the first 10 points to propel Pacific. The Oaks then responded with a 21-8 stretch, featuring 12 points from John Smith to take a 27-18 lead with 8:01 to play in the first half. Pacific quickly turned it around, using a 19-2 surge to take a 37-29 lead with 3:43 to go in the half. Senior Andrew Bock scored nine points in the run, including seven from the free throw line. Senior Ross Rivera struck for a three-pointer in the final minute to give the Tigers a 44-37 halftime lead.
Holding the Oaks scoreless for the first three minutes of the second half helped extend the Tigers' scoring run to 11-0 and gave Pacific its largest lead of the game at 52-37 with 17:05 to play. Keith Bowman scored five points in an 11-2 Oaks run, to cut Pacific's lead to 56-50 with 11:40 remaining. Freshman T.J. Wallace hit a three-pointer with 10:42 to give the Tigers a 61-52 lead and the lead would not fall below nine the rest of the game.
Kelley led the Tigers with a career-high 27 points and finished his second career double-double with 11 rebounds. Bock had 13 points and three assists, Rivera and senior Tony Gill each added 10 points.
Pacific shot 47.8% (32-67) from the field, while Menlo shot 49.1% (27-55). Menlo hit seven three-pointers, while the Tigers were just 3-12 (25.0%) from three-point range. Pacific held a 46-26 edge on the boards, including a season-best 20 offensive rebounds.
The Tigers are next in action against Princeton on Friday, December 20. The game is set for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff as part of the South Point Holiday Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacific is also in action against Bradley on Saturday, December 21 at 5:30 p.m.