Photos: Thousands fill Spanos Center to watch Pacific take on Gonzaga
A near-capacity crowd at Alex G. Spanos Center energized the Pacific Tigers basketball team against No. 6 Gonzaga.
The Tigers, after leading most of the first half and within striking distance throughout the second half, lost 99-90 on Saturday night in front of 4,376, the largest Spanos Center crowd in four years.
“The energy inside Spanos Center was electric,” said President Christopher Callahan, a courtside fixture at most Tigers games along with First Lady Jean Callahan. “It was thrilling to see so many fans, and our student section was absolutely rocking. Everyone has been working hard to turn up the energy at our games, and we really feel this was a turning point for Pacific Athletics.”
Fans warmed up at the Show Your Tiger Stripes Rally in the Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium before the game and a student tailgate with games, door prizes and giveaways.
Pacific led most of the first half, which ended tied at 47. In the second half, Gonzaga All-American Drew Timme scored 24 of his career-high 38 points, which was enough to counter five Tigers in double figures: Jordan Ivy-Curry (17), Nick Blake (16), Keylan Boone (15), Luke Avdalovic (13) and Judson Martindale (12).
Coach Leonard Perry expressed his gratitude for the fan support.
“We would like to thank each and every Tiger fan who came out to support us tonight. Our best is still ahead of us!” he wrote on Twitter.
Three days earlier, a crowd of 2,000 cheered on the women’s basketball team in a pivotal game also against West Coast Conference leader Gonzaga. The turnout included more than 1,600 elementary and middle school students who attended as part of “Education Day.”
The popular event, which exposes young students to the Pacific campus, returned this year after being postponed during the pandemic. Many students took a walking tour of campus led by a student-athlete or Pacific student prior to the game.
With the support of the fans, the Tigers rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to take the lead, 74-73, over the No. 16 Gonzaga team with three minutes to play. The Bulldogs pulled out an 81-78 victory.
See highlights from both games.