Well Spot fans, the season for the Pacific Tigers was going to end tonight one way or another. Unfortunatley for Tiger fans, the end of the CIT Championship Game left them thinking of the Thelma Houston Disco hit "Don't leave me this way", as the Tigers let a 6 point lead evaporate in the final 10 minutes and lost to the Missouri State Bears 78-65. Caleb Patterson, a reserve who normally averages just over 5 points a game, led the Bears with 16 points as Kyle Weems added in 14 for the CIT Champs. Demetrece Young led the Tigers with 17 points and Joe Ford, playing in his final game as a Tiger, added 16. Sam Willard had another in-n-out special with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Freshman Allen Huddleston also added in 10 points.
Here is the official take on the game from the Pacific Athletic Department, along with the Sacramento Bee's recap.
So how did the Missouri State Bears do it? Runs of 11-0 and 8-0 in the final 10 minutes will get the job done for any team. Add to that three key stats that just reach out and scream at you. The Bears made 17-23 free throws in the 2nd half alone! They outscored the Tigers in the paint 38-24 and shot 57.4% from the floor for the game. Stats like that will spell doom for any team, let alone the road weary Tigers.
But all is not overcast and dreary in Tigerland. Pacific made it's deepest run ever in post-season play this year, and return a strong core of players for next year. Demetrece Young, Sam Willard and Allen Huddleston form a nucleus that will once again be a favorite for the Big West Title and seek to make a 3rd straight post-season apperance.
In the meanwhile, between now Midnight Maddness, we here at the Spot will keep you up to date on all things Pacific Basketball with updates on recruiting and how those around the team seek to make the program stronger.
In the mean time....stay classy Central Valley!