Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific men's basketball dropped a 70-53 decision at home to Gonzaga on Thursday, February 27. With the loss, the Tigers dropped to 14-14 overall and 5-12 in West Coast Conference action. Gonzaga improved to 24-6 and 14-3 in WCC play. A crowd of 5,454 was on hand for the game, Pacific's largest Spanos Center crowd since a sellout crowd of 6,150 for the Tigers' home game against Cal State Northridge on Feb. 26, 2005.
"There was such a great atmosphere in the Spanos Center tonight," said Pacific Head Coach Ron Verlin. "The crowd really helped us get back into the game on a couple of occasions. We congratulate Gonzaga on another league title, but look forward to facing them again next week in Las Vegas."
The Tigers had a rough start, going 0-3 from the field and had three turnovers in the first five minutes to trail 8-0. Junior Aaron Short hit a three-pointer following an offensive rebound and senior Ross Rivera hit a trey to make it 8-6 with 14:30 left in the half. The teams traded the lead five teams, until a jumper by senior Tony Gill evened the game at 16-16 with 9:25 to play. The Bulldogs then went on a 13-0 run over the next three minutes, as Kevin Pangos scored nine points to a 29-16 lead. Short hit another three-pointer later in the half to cut it back to 10 (37-27), but the Bulldogs were able to push it back to 40-28 at the halftime break.
Pacific fell behind by 22 (53-31) after Gonzaga opened the second half with a 13-3 run. From there the Tigers were looking to cut into the lead the rest of the way. A three-point play by senior Trevin Harris and a tip-in by junior Gabriel Aguirre immediately cut the lead back to 17 (53-36) with 14:38 to play in the game. The Bulldogs pushed the lead back up to 23 (61-38), before the Tigers struck for five in a row off of a Gill layup and a three-pointer from senior Andrew Bock. The Tigers could only get as close as 17 the rest of the way.
Wallace led the Tigers with nine points, while Gill scored eight. Short had a team-best and career-high nine rebounds. The Tigers shot 30.9% from the field, holding Gonzaga to a 42.0% mark. Pacific held a 43-39 rebounding edge, including 14-8 on the offensive end.
The Tigers are next in action with their final home game of the season against Portland on Saturday, March 1 at 3:00 p.m. The game will be carried by theW.tv and will be the final home game for seven Tiger seniors.