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Improbable Win for Pacific

No. 24 Tigers score 11 points in the final 27 seconds to clip Utah State, 64-63. Pacific's winning streak is now 16 games.

February 13, 2005|From Times Wire Reports

LOGAN, Utah — Christian Maraker's jump shot with 2.5 seconds remaining Saturday night gave No. 24 Pacific a stunning 64-63 victory over Utah State, ending the Aggies' 28-game regular-season home winning streak.

The Tigers, 20-2 overall and 14-0 in the Big West Conference, had to score 11 points in the final 27 seconds to win their 16th in a row, tying for the second-longest streak in Division I behind top-ranked Illinois.

"Winning that game was like a minor miracle," Pacific Coach Bob Thomason said.

Pacific trailed, 61-53, when Marko Mihailovic was fouled on a three-point attempt with 27 seconds remaining. He made three free throws to cut the deficit to 61-56.

After Utah State's Nate Harris made two free throws, Pacific's Mike Webb made a three-point basket to cut it to 63-59 with 22 seconds left.

The Aggies turned the ball over trying to inbound it and Webb capitalized, making another three-point shot with 14 seconds left to trim the deficit to a point.

Maraker fouled David Pak on the inbounds pass, but Pak missed two free throws to set up Maraker's winning shot from 16 feet.

"This is as good as it gets as far as comebacks go," Thomason said. "These guys don't miss that many free throws. Thank goodness they missed those two."

Utah State Coach Stew Morrill let his emotions go afterward.

"We made stupid, stupid mistakes," he said. "We gift-wrapped it and gave this one away. This is the stupidest loss I have ever been involved in. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. We were stupid."

Guillaume Yango scored 15 points to lead four Tigers in double figures.

Jaycee Carroll scored 19 points, and Spencer Nelson had 18 for Utah State (18-6, 9-4).

"No one's going to sleep well tonight," Nelson said. "I wish I could give them credit for the win, but we gave this one away. We didn't play very smart in the last minute. We made five stupid mistakes in the last minute, but this is not the season and we will see them again."

Pacific beat Utah State, 73-66, in double overtime at Stockton on Jan. 13. The teams could meet again in the conference tournament.

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