SALEM, Oré.- The University of the Pacific men’s basketball team escaped with a 99-90 win Friday night over Willamette University. The Boxers were able to hold off a strong second-half comeback attempt from the Bearcats.
Pacific (10-14, 6-9 NWC) had a very effective night from the floor shooting 38-59 (64.4%) on the night. They also found success on the night behind the three-point line shooting 11-22 (50%).
Willamette (6-17, 4-11 NWC) struggled in the first half before beating the Boxers 58-47 in the second half. The Bearcats were led by Cedric Coward who scored 30 points while grabbing 13 rebounds.
Jacob Bolger (Junior/Portland, OR) led the way for the Boxers by scoring 29 points on 14-16 (87.5%) shooting from the floor. Bolger made his presence felt defensively and also recorded two blocks on the night.
mario mora (Senior/Bend, OR) had his final weekend in a boxer’s uniform off to a great start by scoring a career-high 26 points on a career-high seven three-pointers. In the first half, he was 5-6 from downtown.
Lucas Winker (Freshman / Portland, OR) had a double-double in the evening with 17 points and 10 assists in 24 minutes of action. He also led the Boxers defensively with three interceptions.
How did it happen
The Boxers quickly took an 11-5 lead in the first media timeout with 15:47 remaining in the first half. After the media timeout, the Boxers went 10-1 with the score balanced from four different boxers on the run. Mora forced Willamette into his second timeout of the first half when he made three straight scorers in 28 seconds. The Boxers continued to stay in control for the remainder of the first half, taking a 52-32 lead until halftime.
The Bearcats would come out in the second half ready to lead a comeback effort. The Boxers would score on the first five possessions of the half, opening up a 25-point lead. The hosts, however, would respond with an 18-6 run to trail 70-57 with 12:36 remaining. The two teams would trade baskets before Winkler shared a pair of free throws, putting the Boxers up 81-61 with 9:38 remaining. The Bearcats would hold the Boxers scoreless over the next 1:43, bringing the deficit to six after a Coward layup. The Boxers turned the ball over several times, allowing the Bearcats to lose three points, 88-85, with 3:07 remaining. That would be the furthest the Boxers’ lead margin would be reduced as they pull away on their way to a 99-90 win.
- The Boxers were outscored 19-9 on second chance points.
- Pacific led for the 40 minutes of the contest
- The rebound battle was won by the Boxers 40-29
Next up for the Boxers will be the season finale and senior night for the Boxers on Saturday February 19.and against the University of Puget Sound. There will be pre-game festivities to honor the three senior Boxers.
For the latest information on Pacific Athletics, be sure to check out GoBoxers.com. You can also find the Boxers on social media at @GoBoxers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.