SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The University of California San Diego men's basketball team never trailed Saturday as it posted a 67-58 victory against conference rival Cal State San Bernardino at Coussoulis Arena.
UC San Diego is now 16-8 overall and 13-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Tritons sit in a three-way tie for second place with Cal State San Marcos and Chico State. Cal Poly Pomona leads the league standings at 15-4.
Cal State San Bernardino had its five-game win streak snapped and fell to 12-11 on the season and 10-9 in CCAA action.
"It was a terrific win tonight," said fifth-year UCSD head coach Eric Olen. "We showed a lot of resiliency in this one. Several guys stepped up and made big plays that contributed to our success."
UCSD's Scott Everman hit a three-pointer to kick off the game's scoring, which was answered by a trey from CSUSB's Blake McBride. Everman followed with a jumper at the 17:20 mark of the first half that put the Tritons up 5-3 and they led the rest of the way.
With six minutes left before halftime, a Christian Bayne basket put UC San Diego up by 11 points, 23-12, its largest lead of the game. The Coyotes got back within two points several times in the second half, the last coming with 8:47 remaining, but the Tritons held on for the win. They shot an impressive 76.2 percent in the second, making 16 of 21 attempts.
Everman, a sophomore forward, led all players in scoring with 20 points. He was 7-for-13 shooting with four three-pointers while adding six rebounds. Senior forward Michael Shoemaker finished with a career-high 19 points. He was 7-for-9 from the field with five boards and four steals, also a career-best, in just 18 minutes of play. Junior guard Christian Bayne had 10 points and eight rebounds.
UCSD made 51 percent (25-49) of its shots overall. It was the seventh time this season the team shot over 50 percent but the first since Jan. 6. The Tritons out-rebounded the Coyotes, 36-25.
San Bernardino had four players with 10 or more points including Dorian Butler (15), Elijah Brown (11), T.A. Dixon (11), and Jacardo Hawkins (11).
The Coyotes made 38.5 percent (20-52) of their shots overall. They hit just 25.9 percent (7-27) in the opening half before improving to 52 percent (13-25) in the second frame. CSUSB scored 22 points off of 14 UCSD turnovers.
With just four regular season contests remaining, UC San Diego plays at Chico State on Feb. 15 and at Humboldt State on Feb. 17.