After winning four consecutive games, the Tritons have lost back-to-back and fall to 9-11 overall and an 8-9 record in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) competition. The Tritons, who maintain their seventh-place standing in the conference, will play their final away game of the regular season at Acker Gym against fifth-place Chico State (12-9, 9-8 CCAA) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Leading all scorers with his 18 points was senior forward Justin Brue, who also had three rebounds, one steal and a block. Junior guard James McCann tallied 12 points along with five rebounds, a game-high six assists and a steal.
Junior guard Taylor Bell led the Warriors with 16 points and also had two rebounds and two assists. Junior forward Nick Hodge contributed 13 points, a game-high eight rebounds and a game-leading two blocks. Both freshman guard Zeke DeBlase and junior guard Marcellus Pullum finished with 11 points. DeBlase also had a rebound while Pullum had five rebounds and a steal.
The Warriors made more shots in fewer attempts than the Tritons from the field for the game. The Tritons went 24-for-53 (45.3%) while the Warriors hit 26 of 49 (53.1%). However, CSUS did most of its damage from behind the arc, where it went 12-for-23 (52.2%). In comparison, UCSD made nine fewer treys and ended the game with a 3-for-14 (21.4%) performance from three-point range.
UCSD began the second half down by five, 29-24. The Tritons proceeded to take the lead, 42-41, with 10:29 remaining in the game on Brue's layup. But when senior forward Ray Mitchell nailed a three-pointer at the 10-minute mark, the Warriors regained the lead by a score of 44-42, and the Tritons never recovered.
A layup by freshman forward/guard Hunter Walker cut the deficit back to a point, 47-46, with 8:42 left to play, though this preceded a span in which the Warriors scored five unanswered points.
Things took a turn for the worse when the Warriors assembled a 10-0 run, which was capped by DeBlase's pair of free throws and gave CSUS a 64-51 advantage with 2:54 to go in regulation. Freshman forward Alek Carlson grew the lead as large as 17 on a free throw with only 44 seconds left and provided the Warriors a 72-55 lead.
Though the game was decided in the second half, the Tritons played well in the first half and constructed a 6-0 run, which was highlighted by Brue's back-to-back layups and finished by senior forward/center Colin Porter's layup to give UCSD possession of an 11-5 lead with 13:20 before halftime.
But following a CSUS 7-0 run and a pair of lead changes, the Warriors jumped past the Tritons with a 9-0 run on account of three treys in a row by DeBlase, Pullum and Bell. It was on Bell's three-pointer the Warriors grabbed their largest first-half lead, 21-13, with 8:25 prior to the intermission.
The Warriors remain in 10th place in the conference while improving their record to 8-13 overall and 5-12 against CCAA foes. CSUS will finish its homestand against second-place Cal State San Bernardino (15-5, 13-4 CCAA) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --