Foul Trouble Costs Tigers In 82-61 Loss

Photo Courtesy of Keith Sanpei
Photo Courtesy of Keith Sanpei

SPOKANE, Wash. – In their first game against the nation's No. 1-ranked team in over 26 years, the Pacific Tigers fought hard on defense but fell 82-61 after a second-half surge by the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs.  Pacific falls to 10-19 overall on the season and 4-12 in conference with two games to play in the regular season.  Gonzaga is now 28-0 (16-0 WCC).

Pacific turned the ball over just eight times in the game compared to Gonzaga's 13 but shot 33.8% (23-68) from the field.  Gonzaga outscored Pacific 26-10 at the free throw line as well to widen the gap.

Jack Williams scored 12 points in the second half and ended the game with team-highs in points (16) and rebounds (9).  The sophomore made two threes in the second half as well for his 12th game with multiple threes this year.

Ray Bowles and DJ Ursery also scored in double figures, with Bowles putting up 13 and Ursery scoring 11. It was the fourth time in the last six games Ursery has hit double figures after reaching that mark twice previously this season.

The Tigers took an early lead in the game thanks to their strong defense as Pacific forced misses on Gonzaga's first six shots of the game to go out in front 7-2.  Unfortunately, Keshon Montague's three-pointer making it 7-2 was followed by an 11-0 Gonzaga run.

Pacific pulled it within three with 8:39 remaining in the first when Maleke Haynes stole the ball and had a fast-break layup, giving him two of his six first-half points.  An and-one by Gonzaga stretched the lead out again slightly after that.

In the first half, the Tigers shot 36.4% (12-33) from the field, making two threes on six attempts.  Gonzaga built their 12-point lead at the line, shooting 94.4% (17-18) in the first half from the charity stripe. 

Pacific's starting guard trio of Keshon Montague, Maleke Haynes, and Ray Bowles combined for 19 points in the first 20 minutes.

After starting 1-for-11 in the second half, Pacific ignited their offense when Anthony Townes stole the ball and started a fast break.  Ursery followed the missed layup for his tenth and 11th points of the game, starting what would become a 9-2 run by the Tigers. 

Townes held Gonzaga star Przemek Karnowski to 2-for-9 shooting in the first half but picked up three fouls in the process, limiting Pacific's big-man rotation in the second half.  Karnowski would shoot 3-for-4 in the second half, helping Gonzaga build their lead back after the Pacific run.

The Tigers will have one more road game this season, playing at Santa Clara on February 23 at 7:00 pm before closing the regular season at home against Loyola Marymount on February 25 at 7:00 pm.