RIVERSIDE, Calif. - In its first match-up of the season against a nationally-ranked squad, the University of California San Diego men's basketball team was defeated, 78-73, at No. 14 California Baptist Saturday night at the Events Center.
UC San Diego is now 1-3 overall, while California Baptist remained unbeaten, improving to 4-0.
UCSD out-shot its opponent, 48 percent to 47 percent, and had a season-high 10 steals. However, the Tritons made just seven of 27 (26%) three-point attempts and were out-rebounded 35-29. They were 8-for-13 from the free throw line, while CBU was 27-for-32.
The Tritons scored 17 points off of 13 Lancer turnovers.
"We got off to a slow start and it's hard to beat a really good team on the road that way," said UCSD head coach Eric Olen. "I need to do a better job preparing our players in order to avoid early deficits moving forward."
Individually, Christian Bayne scored 18 points for UC San Diego. He was 8-for-15 from the field with a pair of three-pointers. Christian Oshita finished with 13 points and a team-best seven rebounds, while Michael Shoemaker had 11 points and six boards. Oshita and Shoemaker, along with Scott Everman and Mikey Howell, all had two steals each.
Shoemaker made the first basket of the game and that would be the lone time UC San Diego would have a lead. California Baptist proceeded to go on an 18-1 run over the next five minutes that culminated in a 15-point advantage at 18-3. By the end of the half, the Tritons had cut their deficit to seven, trailing by a score of 40-33.
In the second half, UCSD got as close as three points on several occasions, the final time coming with just 2:58 left in the game when a George Buaku layup made it 67-64 in favor of the Lancers. Kalidou Diouf, the PacWest Conference Preseason Player of the Year, scored five-consecutive points to move CBU's cushion back to eight and the Tritons would get no closer than five before the final buzzer.
"I really like the character we showed to climb back into the game," said Olen. "If we can build on the positive things we are doing and clean up some problem areas, we are going to be a very good team."
For the Lancers, Cory Lange totaled a game-high 26 points, going 6-for-9 from the floor and 11-for-12 from the charity stripe. Diouf ended his night with 16 points and Gabe Taylor added 12. Jason Todd led all players with eight rebounds and four assists.
UC San Diego concludes its six-game road swing next week at the Chuck Randall Classic in Bellevue, Wash. The Tritons play host Western Washington on Nov. 24 and Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 25.