LA JOLLA, Calif. – UC San Diego was held to 36.8% shooting from the floor as Cal State San Bernardino rode a strong defensive effort and Andrew Young’s 25 points to a 78-69 victory at RIMAC Arena Monday.
The Tritons suffered their first defeat at home and the second loss at the hands of CSUSB this season to drop to 4-3 overall and 1-3 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Coyotes have now won 12 straight against UCSD as they improve to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in CCAA play with the victory.
With the score tied 16 at the 14:20 mark, the Coyotes’ strung off a 15-5 run to grab a 10 point lead at 31-21. The Tritons responded with a run sparked by a three from Hunter Walker and a layup from Drew Dyer to cut the deficit to two, 31-29, before CSUSB closed out the half on a 6-2 run to lead 37-31 at the intermission.
The Tritons outscored the Coyotes in the paint 14-4 and created 12 second-chance points despite trailing by six at the break. Aleks Lipovic nailed three treys in the half to lead UCSD with nine points, while McCann tallied six points at halftime.
The two teams came out in the second half and exchanged baskets before the Coyotes grabbed their largest lead of the night of 13 points, 64-51, with 7:19 to play. The Tritons managed to cut the lead to eight, 68-60, following a three from McCullough and again at 70-62 following a layup from Adam Klie, but couldn’t manage to come any closer. The Coyotes closed out the victory with strong free-throw shooting as the second half expired with the score 78-69 in favor of the Coyotes.
CSUSB proved to be too strong on the night and finished 24-of-47 (51.1%) from the field and 10-of-25 (40%) from three to earn the win. Young scored his game-high 25 points on six-for-10 shooting and 13-of-16 from the charity stripe, and also pulled down eight rebounds. Three other Coyotes finished in double-digits in scoring as Kirby Gardner scored 14 points and Lacy Haddock and Jordan Burris each tallied 10 points. Haddock recorded a team-high fives assists while Burris grabbed eight boards.
The Tritons struggled from the floor on the evening and shot 25-for-68 (36.8%) and only made nine-of-28 attempts (32.1%) from deep. The Tritons managed to win the rebounding effort (37-36), the turnover battle (12-9) and outscored the Coyotes inside the paint (30-12), but in the end couldn’t overcome the poor shooting effort.
Klie finished with 12 points and Lipovic managed 11, while Dyer, the Tritons’ leading scorer, was held to six points on three-of-12 shooting and missed all seven three-point attempts.
UCSD will return to RIMAC Arena on Saturday night to play game number two of the six game homestand against UC Merced. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.