The Indians got their groove back in the second round at Kansas.
Pacific (6-8) shook off its previous shooting woes to knock off the top-seeded Riverton Rams (5-5) Friday, 59-37, in the consolation semifinals at the Kansas Army National Guard Invitational.
Riverton had previously been upset by the No. 8 seed, Fort Scott (Kan.), in the first round of play while Pacific was beaten in a rematch of the previous season’s championship game against Nevada.
Pacific shot 48.9 percent from the floor and 35.3 percent from three-point distance in the contest, numbers the like of which the Indians are much more accustomed to seeing.
“We shot the ball well, probably more how I was expecting at the start of the year,” Pacific Head Coach John VanLeer said. “Offensively, I think we’ve got it figured out now.”
The game fit within one of the team’s main objectives on defense, to hold the opponents below 10 points in each period.
Riverton maxed out at nine points in its two highest-scoring quarters as Pacific built a sizable 26-9 advantage at the end of the first quarter and went into the half with a 46-15 lead.
“We broke out,” VanLeer said. “We had guys making shots and we turned them over and did some really nice things.”
No shooter was hotter for the Indians than senior guard Jordan Cowsert, who led the team with 17 points, knocking down 5-7 shots and 3-5 three-point attempts. Cowsert also grabbed six rebounds with three assists.
“Hopefully that will be his breakout and we’ll see more of that from him going forward,” VanLeer said.
Mason Fleming had the next highest scoring total for Pacific with 10 points, adding three rebounds, two steals and one assist.
Don’TA Harris was just one basket away from recording a double-double in the contest, finishing with the team lead in rebounds with 10, nine points, three steals, two assists and one block.
Jacob Sauvage scored eight points with four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Dylan Myers posted seven points, two rebounds and two assists.
James Iliff and Gavin Racer scored three points apiece and both grabbed one rebound. Iliff added one assist and one steal.
Garrett Evans rounded out the scoring with two points and grabbed seven rebounds with one steal.
Carter Myers rebounded two. Nicholas Hoerchler grabbed one rebound and Jeremiah Murray made one assist.
The win advanced Pacific into Saturday’s consolation final against Frontenac, where the host school came away with a 62-60 win over the Indians. Pacific will next play Tuesday at home against Fox at 7 p.m.