The Pacific Union College Men's Pioneer Basketball team faced the La Sierra University Eagles as they began their '96-'97 season on Saturday night, Nov. 23. Although LSU made a comeback late in the second half, the Pioneers, led by junior forward Rob Adams, hung on to win 80-73 at home.
"I really wanted to win this one," said PUC freshman guard Mario Perez. Perez graduated from La Sierra Academy and had grown up with most of LSU's players.
The offense for both teams started off sluggishly until PUC guard Brett Graves sunk a three-pointer with 16:40 left in the first half. Graves' three-pointer awoke the Pioneer offense into a 19-2 run. At the end of the first half, PUC led 36-17.
But the Pioneers lost the spark they had shown in the first half, and allowed the Eagles to come back within 10 points with four minutes left in the second half.
LSU then proceeded to outscore PUC 56-44, coming within four points with one minute left in the second half. Bryan Patterson sank four straight free throws to make the score 78-70. PUC hung on to win with a final score of 80-73.
Chris Lindstadt led LSU with 24 points, with fifteen of those coming from three-pointers. Rob Adams led the Pioneers with 20 points.