BOISE, Idaho (Ticker) -- For the second year in a row, Pacific ousted a Big East Conference team in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Christian Maraker scored 17 points after hitting his head on the court in the first half as the eighth-seeded Tigers defeated No. 9 Pittsburgh, 79-71, in the Albuquerque Region.
"I was kind of out there for a few seconds," said Maraker, who banged his head during a collision with Pittsburgh players. "It feels fine now and I just wanted to get back into the game and keep playing. We were playing so good in the first half, you just wanted to stay out there."
David Doubley also scored 17 points and Mike Webb added a career-high 15 off the bench for the Tigers, making 5-of-8 3-pointers.
"I was fortunate to have a few open looks in the first half and I knocked down my first and my second," he said. "I just kept running from there and I think as a team that really picked us up."
Last season, Pacific eliminated Providence in the first round before falling to Kansas. The Tigers never have been beyond the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They will face top-seeded Washington in the next round Saturday.
The Tigers (27-3) were coming off a loss to Utah State in the championship game of the Big West Conference that snapped the nation's longest winning streak at 22 games.
But Pacific showed no ill effects of that defeat, shooting 58 percent (15-of-26) in the first half en route to a 45-30 lead at the intermission.
"Our first half was a near perfect first half," Pacific coach Bob Thomason said. "Not only from the standpoint of execution on offense and making shots, but from defensively rebounding the ball and taking care of the ball. I just thought we played a sensational first half."
"We wanted to come out real focused in this game," Doubley added. "This is the tournament and everything starts over from scratch."
Carl Krauser almost single-handedly tried to rally Pittsburgh (29-9) by scoring 25 of his 27 points in the second half, but it was too little, too late for the Panthers.
That allowed Pacific to survive an erratic second half, when it shot just 38 percent (11-of-29) and committed eight of its 12 turnovers.
"They shot the ball well," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "We gave up some open threes. I thought they hurt us in transition."
Pittsburgh got no closer than 66-61 on Krauser's two free throws with 3:15 remaining. Maraker answered with a 3-pointer for the Tigers.
"They ran their stuff well," Pittsburgh forward Chevon Troutman said. "They came off the screen and hit wide-open shots. They knocked down all the wide-open opportunities they had."
The Panthers ended an up-and-down season by losing five of their last seven games and failed to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time in four years.
Pittsburgh picked up its defense in the second half but not take full advantage on the offensive end. The Panthers finished at just 42 percent (25-of-59) from the field.
After Maraker's layup gave Pacific a 58-44 edge with 11:37 to play, the Tigers went scoreless for nearly five minutes. The Panthers could make up only seven points, closing to 58-51 on Chris Taft's free throw with 8:16 left.
Pacific got its lead back up to 64-53 on Doubley's 3-pointer with 5:59 to. The Panthers made a final run, but a layup and three-point play by Guillaume Mango made it 74-65 with 12:42 remaining. Krauser hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute to keep it close.
Taft recorded 13 points and 12 rebounds while Troutman and Antonio Graves added 12 points apiece for the Panthers.