ARCATA, Calif. – Down 19 late in the first half, the UC San Diego men’s basketball team climbed all the way back to beat Humboldt State 75-69 in Arcata at Lumberjack Arena Thursday. Five Tritons scored in double figures in the win, led by a game-high 18 points and seven rebounds from Drew Dyer.
UCSD poured in 45 second-half points on 14-of-28 shooting (50%) and went on an 11-0 run at the 10:47 mark to grab the lead for good and escape with a conference road win.
The Tritons improve to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The ‘Jacks, who entered with a four game winning streak, fall to 4-2 overall and 0-1 in CCAA play.
“We got off to a slow start but the guys continued to compete and fight,” said head coach Eric Olen. “Eventually shots started to fall and we were able to string a few stops together.”
The Tritons trailed at halftime, 36-30, despite a sluggish first half in which UCSD shot 29.4% from the field. Humboldt State countered with a 53.6 mark from the floor on 15-of-28 shooting. The Tritons were outrebounded in the half 21-14.
The ‘Jacks mounted a 19-point lead, 32-13, with 3:22 left to go in the period before UCSD ended the half on a 17-4 run to cut the deficit to six. James McCann, who led the Tritons with seven points in the half, started the run with a trey before Darryl Wong beat the buzzer from behind the arc to take UCSD into the locker room with momentum.
The Tritons continued the hot shooting into the second half. With the score 50-43, Aleks Lipovic nailed a three to pull UCSD within four. After a HSU free throw, the Tritons gained control of the game with the 11-0 run fueled by back-to-back treys from Dyer and Lipovic to put UCSD up 57-51 with 7:13 remaining.
The ‘Jacks closed the margin to one on two occasions, the latest at the 3:21 mark, but UCSD closed out the 75-69 victory with six straight made free throws, two from Dyer and four from Hunter Walker.
“It's encouraging to be able to come away with a conference road win on a night we didn’t have our A-game,” said Olen.
As a team, the Tritons shot 41.8% from the floor and made 10 threes from behind the arc in the win. UCSD was outrebounded 36-33 and outscored in the paint 28-20, but forced nine ‘Jack turnovers on the night.
Led by Dyer’s 19 points on six-of-nine shooting and four-of-seven from deep, the four other Tritons in double-figures were MacKenzie McCullough (15), Lipovic (12), McCann (11) and Walker (10). McCullough added six boards while McCann amassed six assists in the win.
David Howard led Humboldt with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Allan Guei scored 16 points and Mackie Jordan added 15 points for HSU, respectively.
The Tritons face Cal Poly Pomona, picked to finish second in the CCAA, on Saturday in Pomona. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Kellogg Gym.