UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western men's basketball team defeated Pacific Union 78-65 in the first game of the Cal State San Marcos Christmas Tournament. In the second game, Arizona Christian defeated the host San Marcos team 94-89 in overtime. By Lowell Peterson The University of Montana Western men's basketball team defeated Pacific Union 78-65 in the first game of the Cal State San Marcos Christmas Tournament. In the second game, Arizona Christian defeated the host San Marcos team 94-89 in overtime. The Montana Western Bulldogs and Pacific Union Pioneers battled it out in a closely contested, hard-fought first half with the largest lead by either team being six points. The opening half closed with Montana Western on top 30-29 when Brandon Brown sank three free throws after being fouled on a three point shot attempt with less than five seconds left. Brown ended the half with 16 points, better than half his team’s total. The second half battle continued and the Bulldogs were up by just two points when they went on a 9-0 run (Brown four points, Kyle Perry three and Tyler Miller two) to push the lead to double digits for the first time, 57-46, with 6:44 to play. Just when it looked like the Bulldogs were headed for a comfortable win, Kalle Pascal knocked down three straight three point shots for the Pioneers to cut the Montana Western lead to 62-59 with just over three minutes to play. A free throw by Josh Jewett got Pacific Union to within two points with 2:12 left in the game, 62-60. After missing two free throws, Brown was fouled again on a three point shot and made all three of his charity tosses to put the Bulldogs up by five points with 1:42 to play. Pacific Union began fouling to stop the clock and the Bulldogs converted nine free throws down the stretch to finish with a 13 point victory. Montana Western outscored the Pioneers by 11 points from the free throw line, making 27 of their 42 attempts. Brown made 14-of-19 free throws on the night and led the Bulldogs with 31 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Tyler Hurley scored 15 points, 13 coming in the second half, and Kyle Erickson added 11. Perry finished with nine points and Miller scored eight points and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Josh Jewett recorded a double-double for the Pioneers, scoring 22 points and hauling down 12 rebounds. Marcus Carter finished with 18 points and Pascal added 17. Montana Western won their fourth straight game and improved to 11-3 on the season. Pacific Union fell to 1-9 on the year. The Bulldogs face Cal State San Marcos Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. before returning home for the Christmas break.