Brown leads Pacific to a 59-53 victory over UC Irvine
STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) —Anthony Brown had 12 points and eight rebounds to lead Pacific to a 59-53 victory over UC Irvine on Saturday in a Big West Conference game at Spanos Center.
Brown’s 17-foot jumper gave the Tigers their biggest lead at 54-44 with four minutes remaining to play, and Pacific held off a late Irvine rally to improve to 13-5 and 4-1 in the Big West.
Steffan Johnson had 10 points for Pacific, which made 59 percent of its field goals in the second half after shooting just 35 percent from the field in the first half.
Michael Hunter and Patrick Sanders each scored 15 points to lead UC Irvine (7-11, 2-3 Big West). Darren Fells had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Anteaters.
Trailing 40-39 midway through the second half, the Tigers went on a 9-0 run punctuated by Johnson’s 3-point play and never saw their lead fall below three points the rest of the way.
Pacific led by nine points with 1:22 to play before back-to-back 3-pointers by Hunter and Sanders brought Irvine within 56-53 just 15 seconds later.
But Sanders missed a jumper with 21 seconds left, and Pacific then made three free throws to seal the victory.
Hunter made back-to-back 3-pointers to give UC Irvine an early 11-5 lead, but Pacific answered with a 13-1 run to take its largest lead of the first half.
Fells scored seven consecutive Irvine points to keep the Anteaters close, and a jumper by Sanders brought Irvine within 24-22 at halftime.
Fells tied the game with two free throws to begin the second half, then scored twice inside to give Irvine its biggest lead of the second half at 36-33 before Pacific rallied.