Fifth-Ranked Tritons Power Past SFU in Opener
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – UC San Diego redshirt senior center Chris Hansen led five players in double figures, scoring a game-high 21 points to lead the fifth-ranked Tritons to a 95-70 victory over Simon Fraser in the season opener Friday night at Carver Gym.
“Our effort was really good. We had great preparation and focus all week, and that showed up tonight,” said UC San Diego head coach Eric Olen. “We’ve got a lot of different guys who can contribute, and hopefully that [depth] can make us a really good team.”
The first half started strong for the Tritons, as senior Scott Everman and Hansen each buried a three-pointer in the opening minutes. The Clan responded and briefly took a 12-11 lead on a layup with 14:15 left in the first half. Sparked by junior forward Marek Sullivan off the bench, UC San Diego ultimately closed the half on a 19-9 run to lead 52-38 at halftime.
Hansen led all scorers with 14 first half points, while redshirt senior Christian Oshita and Sullivan contributed 10 points apiece. The Tritons shot 54% (21-39) over the first 20 minutes, and UC San Diego earned a 19-11 advantage on the boards.
UC San Diego came out on fire in the second half. The Tritons knocked down five of their first seven three-point tries, building a 71-43 advantage with 15:30 remaining. On the night, the Tritons connected on 44% from beyond the arc and 9-of-11 free throw attempts. The Clan could not keep pace with UC San Diego’s high powered attack, and never got within 22 points after the early second half run.
Hansen paced the Tritons with 21 points on 5-of-11 shooting from three. He also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard Tyrell Roberts poured in 19 points, including four made threes. Oshita scored 16, Everman 11, and Sullivan 10 on a perfect 5-for-5 night.
Wilfried Balata paced Simon Fraser with 20 points.
The Tritons controlled the boards, out-rebounding the Clan, 41-27.
“We did a really nice job on the glass tonight,” Olen said. “We will need to continue that tomorrow night against a very athletic team.”
No. 5 UC San Diego returns to action Saturday night to face host Western Washington in the second round of the CCAA/GNAC Challenge. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
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 summer 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 preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent. A total of 82 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 37 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.
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