STOCKTON — One coach said it was a game "nobody wanted to win." The other said it was a game "we wanted to win so badly, we were a little tight."
In any case, it was a game that won't show up in anybody's season highlight film. Somewhere Monday night, there was a recreation league contest that featured better shooting, better ball-handling and certainly better execution.
In the end, University of the Pacific hung on for a 50-46 Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. win over Cal State Fullerton in front of 2,800 at the Spanos Center.
"It was a strange, strange, strange game," Titan Coach George McQuarn said. "Neither team played well and neither team played like they wanted to win."
That's not exactly the way Pacific Coach Tom O'Neill saw it.
"I thought we played very hard," he said. "We had some very sloppy spurts and we were tight, but we wanted this game very badly."
Fullerton (2-3 in PCAA play and 9-8 overall) at least had an excuse. The Titans' top two scorers--Kevin Henderson and Richard Morton--are out with ankle injuries. And McQuarn was so unhappy with the play of No. 3 scorer, Kerry Boagni, he did not play him in the second half, despite the fact that No. 4 scorer (Henry Turner) and No. 5 scorer (Herman Webster) were in foul trouble all night.
That meant freshman guard Chris Ceballos, who had played just 41 minutes before Monday night's game, and third-string point guard Alexander Hamilton, who is averaging four points a game, were forced to carry the offense--if you could call it that--most of the evening. Both finished with nine points.
Webster, who had 12 points in 26 minutes of play, was the only Titan in double figures. Reserve Drew Rodgers was the only Tiger in double figures with 16.
The Tigers (2-3, 9-7) would have put the game away if they could have made free throws, but they missed six straight down the stretch until Chris Gray sank a pair with 13 seconds left to give UOP the four-point margin of victory. Pacific shot 52% from the line for the game.