Ball Drops for Tritons in New Year's Eve Victory
LA JOLLA, Calif. - The 14th-ranked University of California San Diego men's basketball team made 50 percent of its shots and closed out 2018 with an 80-77 victory against league rival Sonoma State Monday at RIMAC Arena.
Winner of nine of its last 10 games, UC San Diego improved to 12-2 overall and stayed perfect in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) at 7-0.
The Tritons hit 31 of their 62 shot attempts in the game, 11 of those makes coming from behind the three-point line. It marked the fifth time this season that they made at least half of their shots.
Guard Christian Bayne led UC San Diego with a season-high 24 points. The hot-handed senior made 10 of 12 shots overall and four of six from beyond the three-point arc. He also contributed three assists and a rebound.
Three other Tritons netted 10 or more points including center Chris Hansen with 16, forward Scott Everman with 14, and guard Mikey Howell (San Marcos/San Marcos HS) with 10. Hansen collected his sixth double-double of the year by grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds while also adding three blocks, two assists, and two steals. Everman hit four treys and corralled seven rebounds and Howell distributed four assists. Quick-handed guard Tyrell Roberts had four steals.
UC San Diego never trailed in the game and led by as many as 13 points in the second half. However, the victory wasn't sealed until the final horn as Sonoma State made it interesting.
With just 1:42 remaining in the contest, Isaac Davidson hit a three to bring the Seawolves within two points at 76-74. At the 1:12 mark, Howell had a huge steal and layup to put the Tritons ahead 78-74. With 27 ticks left, Hansen made a pair of free throws to cap a 4-0 run that resulted in an 80-74 lead for the home team. Davidson struck again with another trey to bring it to 80-77. With 15 seconds on the clock, SSU's Lewayne Grant stole the ball. The Seawolves were able to get off a three-pointer before time expired, but it banged off the back rim.
Davidson had a monster night, finishing with a game-high 32 points. He was 13-for-17 shooting with four three-pointers. Grant had 13 points and seven rebounds.
With the loss, Sonoma State fell to 5-7 overall and 3-5 in the CCAA.
UC San Diego begins the new year on the road, playing at Cal State LA on Thursday, Jan. 3 and Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday, Jan. 5. The Tritons play at home just twice in January, hosting Cal State San Marcos on the 19th and Stanislaus State on the 31st, which will be the much-anticipated Spirit Night.
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.
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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).