Troyer leads Pacific to 82-54 rout of UC Riverside
STOCKTON, Calif. (AP)—Chad Troyer scored a game-high 21 points and Steffan Johnson had 18 points and seven assists to lead Pacific to a 82-54 rout of UC Riverside in a Big West Conference opener Wednesday night.
The Tigers shot 60 percent from the field and had a 37-18 rebounding advantage to dominate on both ends of the court. Pacific’s lead never fell below 25 points the final 17 minutes of the game.
Michael Kirby came off the bench to score a career-high 13 points and Michael Nunnally had 11 points for Pacific (9-4, 1-0 Big West), which also made 45 percent of its 3-point attempts.
Larry Cunningham scored 14 points and Jalonni Diggs scored 12 for UC Riverside (3-9, 0-1 Big West), which shot just 33 percent from the field.
Pacific rolled behind the play of its backcourt, as its top trio of guards— starters Troyer and Johnson and sixth man Kirby—combined to make 18 of 29 shots from the field, including 11 of 23 from 3-point range.
Johnson’s two free throws completed a 9-0 run to give Pacific its largest lead at 76-42 with 5:08 to play before coach Bob Thomason cleared his bench.
Pacific’s lead was up to double digits just six minutes into the game, and the Tigers shot a sizzling 71.4 percent from the field during the first half while building a 22-point halftime lead.
Johnson had 16 points and five assists, two of which set up Nunnally for dunks, and Troyer had 13 points to lift Pacific to a 45-23 advantage at the intermission. Johnson and Troyer combined to make six 3-pointers as the Tigers were 8 of 14 from beyond the 3-point arc in the opening 20 minutes.
Nunnally started the second half with a 3-point play, beginning a 13-6 run that stretched Pacific’s lead to 29 points with 14:30 remaining, and the Tigers cruised the rest of the way.