Los Angeles, Calif. – Freshman T.J. Wallace scored a career-high 22 points as the Pacific men's basketball team defeated Loyola Marymount 82-72 on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Gersten Pavilion on the LMU campus. The Tigers improved to 13-10 overall and 4-8 in West Coast Conference action. The Lions dropped to 11-14 overall and 3-10 in WCC play.
"Our defense really set the tone tonight," said Head Coach Ron Verlin. "To have one of our best defensive halves was really important. It was also great to see T.J. Wallace have a breakout game."
The Tigers jumped out to a 7-2 lead after a three-pointer from senior Andrew Bock. Both teams struggled from the field, with both teams hovering around the 30% mark for most of the first half. LMU jumped right back with a 10-2 run to take a 12-9 lead with 9:42 remaining. Pacific responded with a 10-2 run of its own, as freshman T.J. Wallace scored five of his 10 points in the run. A pair of threes in the final three minutes from Wallace and Bock gave the Tigers a nine point lead (27-18) and Pacific held a 32-23 lead. The 23 points allowed ties for the defensive effort of the season (Western Illinois).
After the Tigers pulled ahead by 11 on a jumper by senior Sama Taku, LMU went on an 8-1 run, getting a pair of three-pointers from Anthony Ireland to cu the the lead to 35-31. Pacific pushed the lead right back to 11 (44-33) with a 9-2 run, as Wallace capped the stretch with a three-pointer. Wallace answered with three-pointers on two of the next three Tiger possessions, answering scores by the Lions. With the Tigers leading 60-49, the Lions scored five straight, but a Tony Gill jumper and another three-pointer by Wallace kept Pacific ahead by 11 (67-56). The Tigers' lead did not fall below eight the rest of the way.
Wallace hit six of eight from three-point range on the way to 22 points. Bock added 12 points and five assists, Taku had 14 points and Harris scored 12. The Tigers shot 63.2% in the second half (12-19), which helped hold off the hot-shooting Lions (56.7%, 17-30 second half).
The Tigers are next in action with a home game against Brigham Young on Thursday, Feb. 13. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m. and the game will be available on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and http://theW.tv.