POCATELLO, Idaho. – It took until the 9:38 minute in the second half for the Pacific men's basketball team to take its first lead against Idaho State, but with timely shooting and stellar defense the Tigers were able to grab an exciting 83-76 victory Thursday night at Reed Gym in Pocatello, Idaho.
The Tigers improve to 3-1, while the Bengals falls to 1-2 on the season.
In case you missed it
- The Tigers opened the contest struggling to to find the basket. After scoring first on a jumper by Jahlil Tripp the Bengals went on a 10-2 run to take an eight-point lead.
- Despite Pacific making four-of-six consecutive three-point attempts, Idaho State answered matched with 11 points of their own to remain with a comfortable lead.
- Pacific was unable to come within less than three points a majority of the first half and it was not until the 3:01 mark that the Tigers were able to come within one score. Following a three-point play by Anthony Townes at 3:42, Roberto Gallinat had a three-point play to inch within one point of the leading Bengals (36-35).
- The Tigers would be within one point once more in the first half following a dunk by Zach Cameron at 1:46.
- Idaho State's Gary Chivichyan made a three at the buzzer to keep the Bengals ahead by six (45-39).
- Idaho State took its momentum into the second half extending its largest lead of 11 points.
- Pacific scored 11 unanswered points from 18:01-14:49 to tie the game for the first time at 50-50.
- At 11:07 Sanni began his scoring stint, making consecutive three-pointers to give the Tigers their first lead of the game (60-59).
- The next two baskets made by the Tigers were three-pointers by Tripp and Sanni, which extending Pacific's lead to five points (68-63).
- At 3:54 Idaho State wrapped up a 10-5 run that tied the contest (73-73) for the final time.
- In the final three and a half minutes, Pacific out-rebounded Idaho State 9-2 to hold on for the 83-76 victory.
- Tripp shot a stellar 75 percent (6-for-6) from the field and made his only free throw attempt. In addition, he tallied six rebounds and five assists.
- Townes hit 5-of-11 shots in the paint and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
- Gallinat also hit double-digits in points with seven points from the floor and five from the free throw line.
- Defensively, Cameron led the Tigers with eight rebounds (four offensive, four defensive).
14 – No. 14 Sanni was one-of-three players to score 14 points on night. Joining Sanni were Tripp and Townes.
10 – Ten three-pointers is the most against a Division I squad that the Tigers have posted since Nov. 11, 2016 when they made 10-of-26 at No. 16 UCLA.
Things you should know
- Sanni was named the City of Stockton Human Resources Player of the Game after scoring 14 second half points on 4-for-7 shooting from the floor, including three made baskets from beyond the arc, and a 3-for-4 effort from the free throw line. Sanni also had three rebounds and assist.
- Pacific held the edge in points in the paint (32-20), second-chance points (18-4), and points off of the bench (36-8)
- The Tigers shot a steady 45 percent from the field and made 94 percent of shots from the charity stripe, while their defense held Idaho State to a 26.9 second half shooting percentage from the field
Players Thoughts - Ajare Sanni
"Being able to do what I did tonight meant a lot. It meant a lot to my team."
"Coming off the bench in the second half, I just went in and did what I knew I had to do."
"I have the most confidence in the world. I work on my shot everyday, so I know when I put up the shot it is going to go in and if doesn't go in I come back and do it all over again. Hitting those shots really got me in the rhythm tonight and I was ready."
"I always stayed locked in. That is what they always push on the bench is to stay locked in. I cheered my teammates on in the first half, I didn't get down on myself because I knew my time would come."
"My time at Pacific so far has been great. I have been soaking in all that California weather." It has been great and I am taking advantage of a great education as well."
"Its been great to play for coach Stoudamire, he is great. I know he came in with a few setbacks, but when he came to recruit me he told me to come here and help him change the culture. Learning from him on a day-to-day basis has been great."
Pacific will hit the road once more before its annual Thanksgiving tournament. The Tigers will face UNLV at the Thomas and Mack Center. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m.
Follow the Tigers
For more information about the Pacific men's basketball team, be sure to follow them on twitter (@PacificMensBB) and on Instagram (pacificmensbb). Fans can also have access to score updates, statistics, game recaps, and more by downloading the Pacific Tigers Front Row app, which is available for free in the App Story or through Google Play.