San Diego, Calif. – The Pacific men's basketball team overcame a slow start and rolled to an 84-67 road victory at San Diego on Saturday, Feb. 1. The Tigers improved to 12-9 overall and 3-7 in West Coast Conference play. San Diego dropped to 13-11 and 4-7 in WCC play.
"After a very slow start, we really turned it around to pick up a big road win," said Tiger Head Coach Ron Verlin. "It was a great team effort today. It's a new month, so we are looking to have a great February. We had a great crowd that came out to support us here on in San Diego and they were quite vocal."
Down 12-0 to start the game, the Tigers missed their first four shots and had three turnovers in the first three minutes. Over the next five minutes Pacific was able to cut into the deficit, as senior Andrew Bock scored four points in an 11-3 run to make it 18-16 with 12:07 left in the half. The Toreros were able to get the lead back up to 10 (26-16) after scoring eight straight. The Tigers then outscored USD 15-4 to take a 31-30 lead after as senior Trevin Harris hit a pair of three-pointers and senior Tony Gill added six points. After trading baskets, a big 13-0 run by Pacific gave the Tigers a 46-35 lead with 2:11 left in the half. Senior Tim Thomas capped the run with a tip-in and a pair of free throws. Pacific held a 50-40 halftime lead. The Tigers shot 65.4% in the first half, while USD shot 54.2% (13-24).
Pacific gradually built on its lead in the first part of the second half. The Tigers used a 10-2 run that featured a pair of layups from freshman T.J. Wallace to make it 65-45 with 11:49 remaining in the game. A pair of three-pointers and a free throw by San Diego cut it quickly back to 13 (65-52), but a three-pointer from junior Aaron Short pushed the Tiger lead back to 17 (71-54) with 6:39 to play. Pacific's lead would not fall below 15 the rest of the game as the Tigers cruised to the victory.
Harris and Bock each scored 16 points to lead the Tigers. For Harris, it was a season-high in points. Pacific shot 54.7% from the field (29-53) and hit eight of 15 (53.3%) from three-point range. The Tigers are the fourth best free throw shooting team in the nation and increased their percentage by hitting 18 of 21 from the line (85.7%).
The Tigers continue a string of four straight road games with a pair of contests at Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount next weekend.