Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific men's basketball team earned a hard-fought 89-82 win over Brigham Young on Thursday, Feb. 13 in the Alex G. Spanos Center. The Tigers improved to 14-10 overall, 5-8 in West Coast Conference play. The Cougars dropped to 17-10, 9-5 in WCC play.
"We again had to overcome a slow start," said Pacific Head Coach Ron Verlin. "We may have to start playing for 10 minutes in another gym, then come into the Spanos Center ready to go. I felt that our interior defense really came up big tonight, holding the BYU posts to six points. We also had a great rebounding night, including 13 on the offensive end."
The Tigers trailed 11-2 to start the game over the first five minutes of the game, starting 1-8 from the field. Pacific responded with a 12-0 run over the 3:30, to take a 14-11 lead. Six different Tigers scored in the run. BYU came back with a 12-2 run of their own, to regain the lead at 25-19 with 6:35 to play in the half. Pacific cut the gap to two on four occasions the rest of the way and trailed 38-35 at halftime.
Pacific opened the second half with a layup from senior Tony Gill and a three-pointer by senior Trevin Harris to take a 40-38 lead just over a minute into the second half. BYU took the lead back at 47-45 on a layup by Kyle Collinsworth, but it was sandwiched by a three-point play and a three-pointer from senior Andrew Bock as maintained the lead. At the 12 minute mark, the Tigers got a pair of back-to-back three-pointers from junior Aaron Short and a layup by freshman T.J. Wallace to the lead up to 62-53 with 10:20 remaining. With the Tigers leading by five, Pacific used a 13-3 run to take a game-high 15 point lead (78-63) with 5:59 to go in the game. Harris had five points and Gill had a pair of three-pointers in the stretch. The Cougars weren't finished, as they outscored Pacific 12-1 over the next four minutes to get it back to four (79-75) with just two minutes left. Gill scored on a layup at the end of the shot clock at the end of the Tigers' next possession and senior Khalil Kelley came up with a big block on the defensive end. Short hit a pair of free throws and Wallace hit one of two to give Pacific an 84-75 lead with :51 to play. The Tigers' lead did not fall below five the rest of the way.
Gill scored 18 points to lead five Tigers in double figures. Harris (13), Bock (13), Short (11) and Kelley each scored 10+. Short's 11 points was a career-high. Pacific missed just nine shots in the second half, hitting 15 of 24 for a 62.5% mark and 51.8% for the game. The Tigers held a 41-32 advantage on the boards.
Pacific is next in action with a home game on Saturday, Feb. 15 against the University of San Diego. The game is set for a 7:00 p.m. tip and will be carried by Comcast SportsNet California and TheW.tv.