The Pacific Men’s Basketball Team ended last season with 15 wins and 10 losses on their way to a fifth place finish in the Northwest Conference. The Boxers just barely missed the playoffs, but it was their best record in 13 years.
Now in his fourth year with control over the program, Head Coach Tim Cleary looks to build on his recent successes in the 2013-14 season.
In the preseason coaches’ poll, Pacific was voted to finish in the same place they ended last season, fifth.
On their quest to show the doubters wrong, Pacific has started off the season with a dead even record of two wins and two losses. However, both of Pacific’s losses had the potential to go in the books as victories.
The season tipped off on Nov. 10 with an exhibition match against the Division I Eastern Washington Eagles.
Although Pacific came out with a loss, the Boxers showed promise near the end of the first half as they were down only eight points after a 7-0 run.
The Boxers officially started the season on Nov. 15 with a three-game road trip to Southern California as they took on The University of La Verne, Cal Tech, and La Sierra University.
Pacific lost to La Verne and La Sierra, but both were highly competitive contests that came down to the wire.
In the matchup against La Verne, junior Coby Proctor hit a three-point buzzer-beater to tie it up at 61, sending the game into overtime. The Boxers were unable to find a rhythm as they fell to the Leopards 63-72.
The game against La Sierra had a similar ending as the Boxers battled it out late in the fourth quarter. Although a tight matchup, the Boxers were ultimately outscored in the closing minutes as they loss 68-70.
Returning home from the first of two California non-conference road trips, the Boxers hosted the first home game of the season on Nov. 22 against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps College.
Looking to be a tough matchup, the Boxers came out strong and kept it that way as they coasted to a 53-35 victory.
One of the issues coming into this season would be for the Boxers to fill in the holes left behind by last year’s graduating seniors.
One promising player that looked to play a bigger role was sophomore All-NWC selection Danny Brakebush. However, Brakebush suffered a season-ending knee injury prior to the start of the season.
Although a big loss for the Boxers, the injury opened up an opportunity for other players a chance to make an impact that many have been cashing in on.
Senior Daniel Zitani has been leading the Boxers in scoring and was rewarded after the California road trip by earning NWC Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week for the week of Nov. 11-17.
The Boxers will take another three-game road trip to California Dec. 14 to 17 as they take on Pomona-Pitzer College, Pacifica College, and Occidental College.
They will return home for a Dec. 29 matchup against UC Santa Cruz, and then will kick off the New Year and their conference schedule with a Jan. 3 matchup against seven-time defending NWC champion, Whitworth University.