Lackluster Shooting Plagues Tritons in First Home Loss of Season
LA JOLLA, Calif. - For the first time this season the University of California San Diego men's basketball team lost at home, suffering a 76-61 setback against Cal State LA Saturday night at RIMAC Arena.
UC San Diego, which entered the game with a perfect 11-0 mark in La Jolla, fell to 18-7 overall and 13-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). Cal State LA moved to 14-11 and 10-9.
With four CCAA games remaining in the regular season, UC San Diego sits in third place behind Cal State East Bay (15-4) and Cal Poly Pomona (14-5). The Tritons have clinched a berth in the eight-team CCAA Tournament, which starts on March 5 with quarterfinals at campus sites.
UC San Diego made 36.5 percent (23-63) of its shots overall and 24.1 percent (7-29) from behind the three-point line. It was just the fourth time this season that the Tritons shot under 40 percent. Their seven three-pointers matched a season-low and it was only the fifth time they didn't hit or 10 more.
For the third-consecutive contest, Christian Bayne led the Tritons in scoring, pouring in a game-high 22 points. The senior guard was 8-for-19 from the field with nine rebounds, also a game-high.
The Tritons' largest lead was seven when a layup by Mikey Howell (San Marcos/San Marcos HS) made it 20-13 with 8:22 remaining in the first half. However, the Golden Eagles closed out the half with a 14-4 run and led 33-26 at the intermission.
After shooting 28.1 percent in the opening half, UC San Diego improved to 45.2 percent in the second. It wasn't enough as Cal State LA countered at 52.2 percent. The visitors led by more than 20 points mid-way through the half.
Ja'Sean Lewis paced Cal State LA with 14 points and Fard Muhammad totaled 13. Both made three three-pointers as the Golden Eagles finished with 15 from long range.
Cal State LA swept the regular season series as it also defeated the Tritons on January 3 in Los Angeles.
UC San Diego plays twice on the road next week, traveling to Sonoma State on February 21 and San Francisco State on February 23.
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).