Young Pacific men drop two, but continue getting better
Pacific University's trip to Southern California didn't quite go as planned. Still, despite back-to-back losses to Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, men's head coach Justin Lunt was pleased with the effort, and more pleased with what that effort might mean going forward.
"We got a lot better this weekend," Lunt said. "We played against two great teams and really competed with them."
The Boxers lost to the Sagehens (2-2) 117-95 Friday, Nov. 29, and to the Stags (3-1) 114-92 the following night, Nov. 30. Nonetheless, Lunt was pleased with the progress his team made in defeat, along with the strides his young squad has made since opening the season seven games and nearly a month ago.
"We knew going into this season that we would be young and that our nonconference schedule would really challenge us," Lunt said. "But the idea was always to get us ready for conference play."
Against Pomona-Pitzer, three Boxers scored in double figures, led by Marcus Wallace's 19 points, Davis Holly's 15 and Colin Rardin's 13 en route to building an early 17-4 lead. Sadly, however, the Sagehens — on the back of Alex Preston's 42 points — overtook Pacific late in the first half and never looked back, outscoring the Boxers 66-49 in the second half.
The following night at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, things went similarly for the Boxers, who hung with Stags for much of the first half, then battled again in the second while failing to get over the hump.
Holly led Pacific with 19 points and added five assists and two steals to go with them. Wallace added 13 points, while freshman guard Nick Drynan tallied a season-high 15, including an 8-of-9 effort from the free-throw line.
"I'm very happy with the progress of our young guys," said Lunt. "We're looking forward to finishing off the calendar year with two more nonconference games and building some momentum into the new year for conference play."
Pacific is off until they travel to La Grande to play Eastern Oregon University Saturday, Dec. 14, then finish the calendar year at home against the University of Mary Washington Wednesday, Dec. 18, in Forest Grove.
Boxer women split pair in Colorado
A night after suffering a 72-66 loss to Colorado College in Colorado Springs, the Pacific women's basketball team rebounded with a 64-39 win over Johnson & Wales (Colo.) Saturday, Nov. 30, also in Colorado Springs.
Junior guard Courtney Carolan scored a game-high 19 points, and the Boxers (3-2) snapped a two-game losing streak with the win, limiting the Wildcats to 20 points in the first half. Pacific raced out to an 8-0 lead and led from start to finish.
The Wildcats (0-5) were led by Katey Guzman, who scored a team-high 17 points in the loss for Johnson & Wales.
Pacific took a 16-6 lead through the opening quarter, with the first seven Boxer baskets coming from seven different scorers. In the second quarter, Pacific built the lead as large as 15 and to double digits for the remainder of the contest.
In addition to the 19 points from Carolan, it was a balanced offensive effort for Pacific, beginning with freshman Madison Cabardo, who tallied nine, while five different Boxers added five points apiece. Carolan also notched six assists, a block and a steal, and Camy Aguinaldo had a team-high seven assists in the win.
Next up for Pacific is a pair of nonconference matchups against Multnomah on Friday, Dec. 13, and Northwest Christian on Tuesday, Dec. 17.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.