Welcome back to the dance, Pacific

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 17, 2013
Reserve Tony Gill scored 19 points, Lorenzo McCloud added 16 and the University of the Pacific held off a second-half surge by UC Irvine to win the Big West Conference Tournament championship with a 64-55 victory Saturday night. Pacific earned its ninth NCAA tournament berth, but first since 2006. It will be the fifth appearance in the tournament for the Tigers under coach Bob Thomason, who is in his 25th and final season at the school. Pacific (22-12) held an 11-point lead at halftime, but Irvine (20-15) rallied in the second half behind Daman Starring, who scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half. A putback by Chris McNealy (12 points) got the Anteaters within 44-41 with 10:45 remaining, but that was as close as they would get. Irvine, bidding for its first NCAA berth, lost its fourth Big West title game. Pacific led 31-20 at halftime and increased its lead 33-20 when Colin Beatty scored the first basket of the second half. Then the Anteaters, who shot just 26 percent from the field in the first half, suddenly got hot. An alley-oop from Michael Wilder to Will Davis II resulted in a spectacular one-handed dunk and started an 11-2 run that moved the Anteaters to within 42-39 with 11:36 left in the game. Irvine got within five points in the final minutes, but Pacific made its free throws down the stretch to seal the victory. Pacific took a quick 4-0 lead, then went cold, missing its next nine shots and allowing Irvine to take the lead at 5-4 when Wilder hit a 3-pointer. Sama Taku's layup ended the dry spell, put the Tigers back on top and seemed to get them going. A basket by Wilder gave the Anteaters their last lead of the first half a 9-8. A 3-pointer by Markus Duran put Pacific up 22-14, and after another defensive stop by Pacific, McCloud scored down low and the Tigers increased their lead to 24-14. The lead grew to 26-14 after another bucket by McCloud. Despite its cold start, Pacific shot 39 percent (13 for 33) from the floor in the first half, and held Irvine to just 26 percent (7 for 27) shooting. Pacific also held a 23-15 advantage on the boards, led by Travis Fulton, who had six rebounds. McCloud and Gill each had eight points at the half, and Wilder had five points for Irvine.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Report: Kirk Cousins does not want to be with Redskins

Hall of Famer Goose Gossage says it’s ‘insulting’ to be compared to Mariano Rivera

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

12-year MLB veteran Nick Swisher announces retirement

Report: Chiefs, Broncos among teams that interest Tony Romo

Report: Pistons, Magic have discussed Reggie Jackson trade

Andrew McCutchen Googled himself to keep up on trade talk

RB Trent Richardson arrested on domestic violence charge

Anthony Davis to be ‘very involved’ in efforts to re-sign Jrue Holiday

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker