Tigers Fall In CIT Semifinals At Murray State

David Taylor (photo by Sam Sheffer)

Murray, Ky. – The Pacific men's basketball team dropped a 98-75 decision at Murray State in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament at the CFSB Center on Tuesday, April 1. With the loss, the Tigers finished the season at 18-16 overall. The Racers improved to 22-11.

"It was a tough way to finish the season," said Pacific Head Coach Ron Verlin. "We were playing some of our best basketball of the year in the CIT. We will take this experience forward into next year, with some of our younger guys gaining valuable playing time."

Senior Khalil Kelley scored four early points as the Tigers took a 10-8 lead. The Racers scored four straight to take the lead back at 12-10 with 13:35 to play. Pacific then used an 8-1 run to take an 18-13 lead with 10:53 to play, with freshman David Taylor scoring six points. Nearly five minutes later, the Racers went on a 13-4 run to take a 36-32 lead and increased it to 40-34 with 3:24 left. The Tigers scored four straight to make it 40-38, but MSU scored the final nine points of the half to lead 49-38 at the break.

The Racers opened the second half with nine straight points, to extend the overall run to 18-0 and take a 58-38 lead with 18:20 left in the game. MSU had an answer for nearly every Tiger basket, pushing the lead to 28 (73-45) 10:58 to play after another 9-1 run. MSU led by as many as 29 (88-59), before the Tigers went on a 10-2 run to get it back to 90-69 in the final minutes.

Taylor led the Tigers with a career-high 18 points, while senior Tim Thomas added a career high tying 11 points. Kelley added 10 points and three assists. Pacific shot 44.4% from the field, while MSU shot 55.2%, including 57.1% in the second half. The Racers also hit 13 of 25 three-point attempts (52.0%) and the Tigers were just 6-16 (37.5%).