LA JOLLA, Calif. - Now that's how you want to wrap up your regular season.
The University of California San Diego men's basketball team won the 2018-19 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular season championship Saturday night as it defeated Cal State East Bay by a 79-57 score in front of a home crowd at RIMAC Arena.
UC San Diego now heads into the CCAA Tournament after concluding its regular season with a 22-7 overall record and a 17-5 mark in conference play. The Tritons are the second seed in the eight-team tourney and will host seventh-seeded Cal State San Bernardino (15-13, 11-11) in a quarterfinal match-up on Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m.
The championship is the second for UC San Diego since joining the league in 2000. The Tritons won their first in 2017 after going 17-3.
A big second half propelled the Tritons to the victory and the title. They led by just five points, 34-29, at halftime but out-scored their opponent 45-28 in the later stanza to cruise to the win. UC San Diego shot 52 percent in the second frame and sunk 11 of its 12 free throws.
A layup by forward Scott Everman at the 7:23 mark of the second half put UC San Diego up by 11 points, 59-48. That was the first time of the night that either team held a double-digit lead. With 2:28 left in the game, the Tritons went on a 10-0 run that pushed them in front by 24 points, 79-55, with just over a minute on the clock. Guard Christian Bayne accounted for six of the points during the spree.
Center Chris Hansen finished with his 10th double-double of the season, racking up game-highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds. The big man was 8-for-12 shooting and drained five of his eight three-point attempts.
Bayne and fellow guard Tyrell Roberts each totaled 19 points. Bayne made all three of his free throws and has not missed in his last 47 trips to the charity stripe. Roberts dished out four assists.
UC San Diego shot 47 percent overall and out-rebounded its opponent 43-29.
Cal State East Bay was led by Juwan Anderson and Nai Carlisle, who had 18 and 11 points, respectively.
The Pioneers shot 38 percent in the game and made just eight of its 26 attempts, 31 percent, in the second half.
It was the lone meeting of the regular season between the Tritons and Pioneers.
Saturday was also Senior Night at RIMAC Arena. Prior to the start of the game, Bayne, Eric Patton, and Ben Rico were celebrated for their contributions to the program. Bayne is majoring in Communication, Patton International Business, and Rico Biochemistry/Cell Biology.
Cal Poly Pomona defeated Cal State San Bernardino Saturday night to earn a share of the CCAA regular season title with UC San Diego. The Broncos will serve as the tournament's top seed as they defeated the Tritons in early February, giving them the tiebreaker according to the seeding procedure.
Tuesday's quarterfinal will be the third meeting of the season between UC San Diego and Cal State San Bernardino. The Tritons are 1-1 against the Coyotes with a 97-63 blowout win at home on November 20 and a narrow, 77-75 loss in San Bernardino on February 9.
Here's a look at the CCAA Tournament.
March 5 - Quarterfinals
No. 8 Humboldt State at No. 1 Cal Poly Pomona
No. 7 Cal State San Bernardino at No. 2 UC San Diego
No. 6 Cal State Dominguez Hills at No. 3 Cal State East Bay
No. 5 Cal State LA at No. 4 San Francisco State
March 8 - Semifinals
Winner of 2/7 vs. Winner of 3/6 - 5:35 p.m.
Winner of 1/8 vs. Winner of 4/5 - 8:05 p.m.
March 9 - Final
Championship Game - 7:35 p.m.
The semifinals and championship game will take place at Cal State East Bay's Pioneer Gymnasium. The winner of the CCAA Tournament receives an automatic berth in the NCAA West Regional.
UC San Diego is the two-time defending tournament champion. The Tritons have won it three times overall (2008, 2017, 2018).
About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles, and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country. The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in the summer of 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference. UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's pre-eminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
Follow the Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDTritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@UCSDTritons), Instagram (@UCSDTritons) and Facebook (UCSDTritons). To stay tuned in to UC San Diego Men's Basketball, follow the team's Instagram (@UCSDmbb) and Twitter (@UCSDmbb), as well as Head Coach Eric Olen's Twitter (@CoachEricOlen) and Associate Head Coach Clint Allard's Twitter (@CoachAllard).