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Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
MacKenzie McCullough and the Tritons will play six of their next eight games at home beginning this weekend against the Gators and Broncos.
UCSD Looks to Get on Track With Pair of Home Games This Week
Release: Thursday 12/28/2011 
by UCSD

The Schedule
Game No. 10
UC San Diego Tritons (4-5, 0-4) vs. San Francisco State Gators (2-7, 0-3)
Thursday, December 29, 2011 • 7:30 p.m.
RIMAC Arena (5,000) • La Jolla, Calif.
Live Stats
Live Audio/Video

Game No. 11
UC San Diego Tritons vs. Cal Poly Pomona Broncos
Friday, December 30, 2011 • 7:30 p.m.
RIMAC Arena (5,000) • La Jolla, Calif.
Live Stats
Live Audio/Video

First Things First
After taking nine days off from competition over the holidays, the UC San Diego men's basketball team will return to the court this week when San Francisco State and undefeated Cal Poly Poly invade RIMAC Arena. The Tritons will host the Gators on Thursday evening before welcoming the Broncos to town on Friday. Both contests will follow the women's games, with tip-off slated for approximately 7:30 p.m. The SFSU and CPP clashes will be broadcast live on ESPN Radio 1700 in San Diego with Craig Elsten calling the action and Jack Cronin handling the color commentary duties.

On the Record
UCSD enters Thursday's tilt with San Francisco State with an overall record of 4-5 and an 0-4 mark in CCAA play after dropping a 71-63 decision at Cal State San Bernardino in its last game on Dec. 19. The Tritons suffered their second loss to the Coyotes in the last five games, having also fallen to CSUSB, 66-63, in double overtime on Nov. 22 in La Jolla. UCSD, which currently finds itself at the bottom of the CCAA standings, will look to capture its first league win against SFSU, the only other team without a victory in conference play so far this season. Head coach Chris Carlson's squad has gone 1-1 in two home games so far in 2011-12, defeating Dixie State in a nonconference matchup on Dec. 11 after losing its CCAA opener to San Bernardino last month.

Big Second Half Run Dooms UCSD Against CSUSB
UCSD held the lead for much of the first half against Cal State San Bernardino last week, taking a 27-21 advantage with just under five minutes to play in the period and then leading 31-28 at the half. Things turned quickly in the second half, however, as the Coyotes outscored the Tritons 18-3 over the first nine minutes to take a 46-34 lead. UCSD scored eight straight points to pull within five at 53-48 with 5:46 left to play, but CSUSB answered with a 10-0 run to take its biggest lead of the night and put the game away. Nate Roth scored 20 points and dished out eight assists to lead the Coyotes, while Christian Hatch finished with 20 points and 10 boards in a losing effort for the Tritons. Cal State San Bernardino shot 46% (24-52) from the field, while UCSD shot at a 43% (22-51) clip. The loss marked the Tritons' sixth consecutive defeat at the hands of the Coyotes.

Shoot to Win
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, UCSD shot just 43% in the 71-63 setback to Cal State San Bernardino on Dec. 19. That's worth bringing up a second time because the loss dropped the Tritons' record to 0-5 when they shoot less than 50% from the field this season. UCSD has shot the ball extremely well in its four wins this year, finishing better than 51% from the floor in each game. The Tritons -- who have shot better than 50% from the floor just once in their previous five games, going 1-4 in that span -- are currently shooting 45.6% from the field overall this season, a figure that ranks sixth in the CCAA. Nine games in, it's clear that UCSD has to shoot the ball well to be successful.

UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • So., 5-11, 165 - Dished out a career-high eight assists in loss to CSUSB on Dec. 19.
G - Tyler McGrath • Jr., 6-3, 175 - Leads UCSD with 18 three-pointers made through nine games.
F - Justin Brue • Sr., 6-5, 215 - Shooting a career-high 45% from the field this season.
F - Ryan Peters • Jr., 6-4, 200 - Tallied nine points and a season-high three assists against Dixie State on Dec. 11.
C - Christian Hatch • Sr., 6-8, 260 - Recorded his third double-double of the season against San Bernardino last week.

Leading Man
Senior center Christian Hatch has put together a great start to the season, averaging team-highs of 15.9 points and 8.2 rebounds through nine games. The Henderson, Nev. native is shooting 53% (52-98) from the field and has scored in double figures seven times in 2011-12. Hatch was outstanding in UCSD's loss to Cal State San Bernardino on Dec. 19, finishing with game-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of 2011-12. He converted nine of his 13 attempts from the field and went 2-of-4 at the free throw line to reach the 20-point mark for the third time this season. Hatch has now led the Tritons in scoring in six of the team's nine games. He was named the ucsdtritons.com Male Athlete of the Week on Monday for his performance.

Sharp Shooter
Junior guard Tyler McGrath had one of his best outings of the year against Cal State San Bernardino last week, finishing with a season-high 17 points, while also tallying three rebounds and two steals in 31 minutes. The Camarillo, Calif. native finished 4-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-5 from behind the three-point line, and sank all six of his free throws to reach double figures for the fifth time in 2011-12. That performance came on the heels of a 16-point, seven-rebound, three-assist effort in UCSD's 81-67 win over Dixie State on Dec. 11. For the season, McGrath is averaging 11.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 31.0 minutes per game. He is shooting 44% from the field and 42% from behind the arc and leads the Tritons with 18 three pointers made.

Scouting the Gators
San Francisco State enters Thursday's contest with an overall record of 2-7 and an 0-3 mark in CCAA play... The Gators haven't played since Dec. 3 when they dropped an 82-65 home decision to Cal State Stanislaus... Junior guard Nefi Perdomo and junior forward James Albright are both averaging 14.9 points through nine games... Perdomo is also dishing out a team-high 5.2 assists, while Albright is shooting 53% from the field and hauling down 4.7 rebounds... SFSU ranks seventh in the CCAA, averaging 70.6 points per game offensively, while the defense is surrendering 77.9, a figure that ranks last... UCSD holds a 13-10 advantage in the all-time series with San Francisco State after splitting two games with the Gators in 2011-12.

Scouting the Broncos
Cal Poly Pomona begins the week with a flawless overall record of 6-0 and a 3-0 tally in conference play... The Broncos' last game was on Dec. 15, a resounding 96-48 triumph over Pacifica College in Pomona... Junior guard Mitchel Anderson leads three players scoring in double figures for the Coyotes at 13.3 points per game... Sophomore guard Terrence Drisdom is putting up 10.3... Cal Poly Pomona is averaging 69.0 points per game offensively, a figure that ranks ninth in the CCAA, while the Bronco defense has been much better, allowing just 54.3, second best in the league... The Tritons trail the all-time series with the Broncos 19-8 after dropping both meetings with CPP last season... The Broncos will square off with Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday before traveling to La Jolla to face UCSD on Friday.

Quick Hits
UCSD currently ranks eighth in the CCAA in scoring offense, averaging 69.9 points per game... Defensively, the Tritons rank sixth, holding their opponents to 67.4... UCSD is the fourth-ranked rebounding squad in the conference, bringing down 35.4 boards per night... The Tritons have averaged 85.2 points in their four wins this season and just 57.6 in their five losses... UCSD has lost 10 of its last 11 CCAA games dating back to last season...The Tritons will play six of their next eight games at home beginning with this weekend's matchups against San Francisco State and Cal Poly Pomona... Following the games this week, UCSD will travel to Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State Jan. 6-7.

UCSD Games to Air on ESPN 1700 In 2011-12
The UC San Diego Athletics Department last month announced a partnership with ESPN Radio 1700 that will carry 16 Triton men's basketball games live locally during the 2011-12 season. ESPN 1700 will broadcast a total of 12 home games and four road contests this season, marking the first time UCSD basketball will air on terrestrial radio. Craig Elsten, who is in his third season as the voice of Triton basketball during UCSD's online broadcasts, will serve as play-by-play announcer, while Jack Cronin, Executive Producer at XX Sports 1090 and ESPN 1700, will handle the color commentary duties. Click here for more on UCSD's agreement with ESPN 1700.

UCSD Picked to Finish 10th in CCAA Standings
UC San Diego was was selected to finish 10th in the California Collegiate Athletic Association regular season standings, according to the league's annual preseason coaches poll that was released in October. UCSD, which finished 11th in the conference with a 6-16 record last season, received 32 points in the poll. Defending regular season champion Humboldt State was picked to win the 2011-12 CCAA title, receiving nine first place votes and a total of 119 points. Cal State San Bernardino collected 106 points and two first place votes to finish second, while Cal State Dominguez Hills was third after garnering 90 points and the remaining first place vote. Cal Poly Pomona tallied 89 points to finish fourth, followed by Cal State L.A. (77), Cal State Stanislaus (74), Chico State (70), Sonoma State (53) and San Francisco State (47) in fifth through ninth places, respectively.

Socially Conscious
Now there are now more ways than ever to follow the Tritons. Of course, you've always got ucsdtritons.com at your disposal, but our social media scene is growing by the hour. Get instant updates on UCSD Athletics on Twitter @UCSDtritons and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/UCSDtritons. For a more visually appealing approach, watch us on YouTube at youtube.com/ucsdathletics. For all things men's basketball, be sure to follow Coach Carlson @UCSD_Basketball.

 

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