Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
Sophomore guard Ben Rico

Dominant First Half Leads to 73-50 Victory Against Chico State


LA JOLLA, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's basketball team parlayed a phenomenal first half of play into a 73-50 rout of California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) rival Chico State Saturday night at RIMAC Arena.  

Matching a season-long, four-game win streak, UC San Diego upped its overall record to 10-5 while improving to 7-2 in the CCAA and moving into second place in the league standings.

In the opening half, the Tritons netted 16 of their 25 shot attempts, an incredible 64 percent. Eight of their 13 three-point shots found the net, 61.5 percent. The Tritons got out to a 5-0 lead and stayed in front for the rest of the game. With 12:20 left in the half, UCSD mounted a 20-2 run and held Chico State scoreless for almost a full five minutes during the span. When the scoring spree was over, the Tritons were up 40-13 with 5:13 to go in the stanza. UC San Diego hit four three-pointers - two by forward Scott Everman - during the run.

The Tritons led 46-23 at halftime as the Wildcats made just 28.6 percent (8-28) of their shots in the first.

At the 6:41 mark of the second half, UCSD went up by 32 points, its largest lead of the night, when guard Ben Rico made three foul shots to bring the score to 68-36. The Wildcats scored the next 11 points of the game - nine of those coming on free throws - to get back within 21 points, but they would not shrink the gap any further.

Neither team shot well in the second half. UC San Diego dropped to 35 percent, hitting just seven of its 20 attempts, while Chico State was at 29.2 percent (7-24). The Tritons made two of 12 three-pointers, 16.7 percent.

For the game, UCSD shot 51.1 percent (23-45) overall, the sixth time this season it has gone better than 50 percent from the field. For the second night in a row, the Tritons turned the ball over just seven times. They scored 24 points off of 12 Chico State turnovers.

UC San Diego swingman Christian Oshita finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, both game-highs. He was 5-for-8 shooting. Everman totaled 13 points, while guards Christian Bayne and George Buaku recorded four assists apiece. Buaku also had three steals.

Corey Silverstrom had 11 points and Nate Ambrosini had 10 for the Wildcats, who dropped to 9-5 on the year and 6-4 in the CCAA. It was the third-consecutive loss for Chico State, which scored only 47 points at Cal State San Marcos Friday.

UCSD's 23-point win was the largest margin of victory ever for the Tritons over the Wildcats. The previous mark was 20 (61-41) in a game back on Jan. 7, 2006.

UC San Diego concludes the first half of its CCAA season next week on the road, playing at Cal State Monterey Bay on Jan. 11 and Cal State East Bay on Jan. 13.


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