A slow Menlo start coupled with Pacific Union's ability to pull away late, spelled trouble for the Oaks tonight inside Haynes-Prim Pavilion. A season low 12 first half points and a final stretch that saw the Pioneers turn a three point game into a nine point game, ultimately did Menlo in as they dropped their second straight Cal Pac clash, 52-48 to PUC.
In a first half that saw the Oaks shoot only 26 percent from the floor, Menlo trailed 21-12 at the break. As the second half began, a different Oaks intensity filled the packed house inside Haynes-Prim. Menlo nailed their first six field goals of the second stanza, including two three pointers from junior ChaRunn Jones, and in the span of only three minutes the Oaks scored more points, 14, than they did in the entire first period. Jones ended his evening with a team high 19 points, 17 of them in the second half.
Now up 26-25, it was Pacific Union's turn to respond. The terrific tandem of senior Josh Jewett and junior Marcus Carter propelled the Pioneers to a three point lead, 34-31 with 8:33 remaining. The dynamic duo combined for 38 of PUC's 52 points as Carter notched a game high 20, and Jewett picked up a double-double with 18 points and ten rebounds.
With the Oaks now down by three, Carter and the Pioneers' Will Bell extended that mark to 41-33 in the span of only two minutes and 22 seconds. Menlo put together a valiant effort behind the dominance of Tim Tatum, who earned his second double-double in the last three games with 17 points and 18 boards, but ultimately it wasn't enough as the Oaks move to 1-2 in conference.
Josh Jewett sealed the deal with just over a minute to go in the contest. Pacific Union had a 45-41 advantage, when the native of Scottsdale, Arizona, drained one from downtown to put the Pioneers on top 48-41 with only 1:12 to go.
Menlo will look to rebound after the difficult defeat as they get set to travel to UC Merced to take on the Bobcats, this Saturday, January 12th. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.