Las Vegas, Nev. – The Pacific men's basketball team defeated Bradley 71-55 in the Holiday Hoops Classic at the South Point Hotel and Casino on Saturday, Dec. 21. Pacific improved to 9-2, while Bradley dropped to 5-7.
"We showed a lot of composure tonight in coming back from a tough loss last night to get a great team effort in this win," said Head Coach Ron Verlin. "It was a hard fought victory and a lot of our guys showed toughness tonight. We'll have a nice break and come back refreshed for a big game with Saint Mary's on Dec. 30."
Jumpers from seniors Trevin Harris and Sama Taku gave the Tigers a 4-0 lead in the early going. Bradley then scored the next seven points to take a 7-4 lead with 13:41 to play in the half. The teams were tied at 10-10 and 16-16. The Braves took their final lead of the game at 19-18 with 7:53 to play. Junior Gabriel Aguirre scored on a layup with 7:22 to go, giving the Tigers a 20-19 lead and Pacific would not trail again in the game. Four more points in a row from Aguirre gave the Tigers a 32-23 lead with 1:30 to go and held 35-27 halftime lead.
The Braves cut Pacific's lead to 36-30 with 17:40 to go and that is when the Tigers took off. Freshman T.J. Wallace capped a 13-2 run with a pair of three-pointers as Pacific took control with a 49-32 lead at the 10:44 mark. A three-point play by senior Tony Gill and a pair of free throws from senior Andrew Bock gave the Tigers a 60-40 lead with 8:11 to go. The Tigers led by as many as 22 (71-49), but were scoreless over the final 2:50 for the final margin.
Wallace led the Tigers with 14 points, while junior Aaron Short added a career-high 10 points. Gill scored 11 points. Aguirre tied his career high with six points and set a career best with six rebounds. Wallace earned all-tournament honors, after averaging 12.0 points per game in the Tigers' two games.
The Tigers shot 45.7% from the field (21-46), while holding Bradley to 31.4% (16-51) shooting. Pacific held a 37-17 advantage in bench scoring.
The Tigers are next in action with a home game against Saint Mary's on Monday, December 30. The game is part of a doubleheader with the Pacific women's team playing Gonzaga at 5:30 p.m. The Saint Mary's game is set for an 8:00 pm. tipoff and will be televised by Comcast SportsNet California.