LA JOLLA, Calif. - Sweeping a season series is always nice. It's twice as nice when it comes against a cross-county rival.
The University of California San Diego men's basketball team did just that Tuesday night by collecting a 73-65 victory over Cal State San Marcos at RIMAC Arena. The win gave the regular season series to the Tritons, who also defeated the Cougars, 78-66, in early December in San Marcos.
UCSD improved to 13-6 overall and 10-3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA), moving ahead of CSUSM and into second place in the conference standings. The Cougars dropped to 14-4 on the year and 9-3 in the CCAA.
The Tritons scored the first seven points of the contest and never trailed in the game. A layup by forward Scott Everman gave UC San Diego a 15-point (26-11) lead, the team's largest of the night, with 8:24 remaining in the opening half.
With UCSD ahead by 10 points with just over eight minutes left in regulation, Cal State San Marcos scored six unanswered points to get back within four at 54-50. However, that is as close as the Cougars would get.
Everman finished with a game co-high 24 points. He was 11-for-14 shooting and added seven rebounds, two assists, and a steal to his totals. Two other Tritons hit double-figure point totals including guards Christian Oshita (12) and Christian Bayne (11). Oshita also grabbed a team-best eight rebounds, while he and Bayne each dished out four assists. Senior forward Kenny Fraser scored eight points on 4-for-4 shooting and had four rebounds and a block in just eight minutes of floor time.
UCSD made 47.5 percent (28-59) of its shots and CSUSM was held to 37.9 percent (22-58). The Tritons made eight of 23 three-point attempts and the Cougars made just four of 18.
Joe Boyd recorded a double-double for the visitors, finishing with 24 points and 13 boards. He made nine of his 11 shots from the field. Josh Spiers had 14 points, Brian Wright totaled 13, and Ethan Alvano ended his night with 11. Alvano came into the game averaging a league-high 22.3 points.
Tuesday's win by UCSD snapped a three-game win streak for CSUSM, which is receiving votes in this week's national poll. It also put the Tritons back in front in the all-time series against the Cougars, 3-2.
UC San Diego hosts Sonoma State (9-8, 7-6 CCAA) on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. The Seawolves have won their last four games.