Freshman Danny Brakebush sparks Pacific to victories over Cal Lutheran and Whittier

Pacific freshman Danny Brakebush scored 25 points off the bench Saturday to lead the men’s basketball team to a 73-70 victory over Cal Lutheran in the final game of the Surf’s Up Classic in Honolulu, capping an impressive showing at the two-day tournament.

A day earlier, Brakebush dropped 18 points — again coming off the bench — to spark Pacific to a 74-72 overtime victory against Whittier.

The two wins give the Boxers a 3-1 record as they return home tonight for a game against Simpson (Calif.), their final non-conference tune-up before the holiday break.

Pacific left for Hawaii last week seeking some warmer weather, and the change in scenery apparently agreed with Brakebush, who poured in 43 points over two days on 15-of-25 shooting from the field, including nine three-pointers.

That performance earned Brakebush selection as the Northwest Conference Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week, which was announced on Tuesday.

Despite starting only one game this season, the freshman from Central Catholic High School currently leads the Boxers in scoring at 14.3 points per game, and he is shooting 47.8 percent from long range.

Brakebush led all scorers with his 25-point effort in Saturday’s win over Cal Lutheran, while senior Andrew Beatty added 13 points and six assists. Dustin Bowser had 11 points, and Colin Wester finished with a game-high eight rebounds.

Pacific built its largest lead early in the second half, going up 42-30 on a pair of Bowser free throws. Cal Lutheran (1-3) kept the game close, eventually tying the score at 58-58 on a pair of free throws by Michael Palmer. The Boxers went right back on the offensive, building a seven-point lead, 67-60, on Bowser’s lay-in at the 2:12 mark.

Cal Lutheran mounted one last charge, getting two free throws and a three-pointer in quick succession to cut the lead to 70-68. Wester made one of two free throws at the other end, and Brakebush knocked down a pair of foul shots with four seconds left to ice the victory.

On Friday, the Boxers needed overtime to get past Whittier, getting 12 points and 14 rebounds from Bowser, plus 13 points from Wester and 10 from senior Charles Mosley.

Brakebush scored his 18 points exclusively from three-point range, shooting 6-for-13 from beyond the arc.

Pacific trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, but rallied after the break. Brakebush hit a pair of three-pointers during an 8-0 run that got the Boxers within 42-39 with 14 minutes left. Whittier stretched its advantage to eight points before the Boxers surged and took their first lead of the game, 53-51, on Bowser’s short jumper with 5:48 to go.

The lead see-sawed back and forth before Mosley’s free throw with 25 seconds left gave the Boxers a 64-61 lead. With the last possession of regulation after two missed Wester free throws, Whittier’s Phillip Thomas canned a three-pointer with four seconds left to send the game into overtime.

The tightly played overtime period turned the Boxers’ way with 1:16 left when Budweiser Hawkins hit a short jumper to give Pacific a 71-70 lead, and Coby Proctor connected on a lay-in on the Boxers’ next possession to make it a three-point game.

After a Whittier lay-in with less than 10 seconds left, Proctor was fouled and converted one of two free throws for the winning margin.

Pacific will host Simpson tonight at 7 p.m.

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