Pacific wins 2013 Big West basketball tournament

USA TODAY Sports

Pacific knocked off UC Irvine to win the Big West and punch their ticket to the Big Dance.

The Pacific Tigers defeated the UC Irvine Anteaters, 64-55, to win the Big West championship and clinch a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Pacific started out dominating the game, allowing the Anteaters to score just 25.9 percent of their field goals in the first half. They went into halftime up 30-21, but UC Irvine tried to mount a comeback. They used a 7-2 run early in the second half to cut the deficit down to four points, but that's the closest they ever got. The Anteaters only held the lead once in this game, way back at the 16:29 mark in the first half.

Tony Gill came off the bench to score 19 points, and Lorenzo McCloud added 16. The Tigers had their own issues finding the bucket, shooting 39.6 percent from the field. Daman Starring and Chris McNealy led UCI with 19 and 12 points, respectively.

This is Pacific's eighth appearance in the NCAA tournament, and their first since 2006. In their last tourney appearance, they lost to Boston College in the first round.

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