Sun., Dec. 10---Men’s Basketball---UCSD vs. Hawaii Pacific---
THIRD PLACE NCAA FINISH FOR MEN’S WATER POLO
Coach Denny Harper’s Men’s Water Polo team concluded a record-setting season by finishing third at the NCAA Championships last weekend in Los Angeles...After losing to eventual national titlist UC Berkeley, 17-7, in the Saturday’s semi-final, the Tritons bounced back, stopping Navy, 12-8, Sunday to collect the third place hardware...UCSD finished the season at 26-6, producing new standards for both wins and winning percentage (.813).
In Saturday’s semi, the Tritons hung tough early but were unable to stop a bigger, deeper Cal team that Harper termed “a juggernaut”...The Bears were up, 5-3, after a frenetically- paced first period...The last of Cal’s five, scored by Brian Bacharach at 1:16 with the Bears holding a two-man advantage, was the watershed point in the game...Coming with his team up, 4-3, it set off a barrage of six unanswered goals that put UCSD in a hole from which it would never recover...Despite the deficit, Harper’s crew refused to quit, narrowing the gap to 10-5 at intermission on goals by senior Jesse Casellini and junior Adi Jerkovic...Cal came right back with two goals to open the second half, UCSD answered with a Jerkovic lob and Casellini’s third score of the afternoon, again getting within five, but the Bears collected the final five goals of the contest to win handily...Casellini scored three and Jerkovic two for UCSD but the Tritons were just 3-of-11 in man-up situations while UC Berkeley went 5-for-8.
The Tritons ended their 10th trip to the NCAA Championships on a positive note, getting five goals from senior Ty Lackey in the triumph over Navy...Junior Nestor Dordoni chipped in with three goals as UCSD went into the half with a 7-5 lead and scored the first three goals of the second half, two by junior A.J. Kotanjian...The Midshipmen made a final run, scoring three straight to make it 10-8 with three minutes remaining, but Lackey’s final two tallies, both on the power play, foiled their comeback plans...Senior Jeremy Randall was solid in the cage, making 12 saves and coming off the line repeatedly to stifle Navy advances...Casellini and Lackey were second team all-tournament choices.
JUSTER IN MID-SEASON FORM AS WOMEN GO 1-1 TO START CCAA
The 18th-ranked Women’s Basketball team, 2-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play, will take a two-week hiatus for finals before hitting the hardwood again, Dec. 16, at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
Friday night, sixth-ranked defending CCAA champion Chico State showed UCSD it would not surrender its title easily, hitting 50% from beyond the three-point arc and out-rebounding the Tritons, 43-35, en route to a 79-69 conquest in the conference opener for both clubs...The Wildcats never trailed in this one, getting up early and surviving a 30-point effort by UCSD senior guard Leora Juster...Juster, the reigning CCAA Player of the Year, knocked down 12-of-19 from the floor, dished out five assists and had three steals, but the rest of the squad was under 38% shooting and only senior Hillary Hansen (10 points/10 rebounds) had significant stats.
The Tritons turned things around in a hurry, however, clubbing Cal State Stanislaus, 97-57, Saturday...Juster had an 18-pt. night but this time four teammates were in double digits—Hansen (17), Meaghan Noud (14), Michelle Osier (11) and Alexis Gaskin (10)—as UCSD shot at a 59.6% clip and won the battle of the glass by 12...Osier grabbed nine boards and Juster handed out seven assists as the Tritons went to the locker room with a 26-pt. edge and never let up.
MEN’S HOOP TEAM SPLITS OPENING CONFERENCE WEEKEND
Coach Bill Carr’s Men’s Basketball team, now 3-3 on the year and 1-1 in CCAA play after splitting a pair of conference home games last weekend, returns to action Sunday, following finals, hosting Hawaii Pacific at in RIMAC Arena.
A hot-shooting Chico State squad, which hit 54.5% from the floor and a scorching 52.6% from three-point land, surprised the host Tritons, 74-67, in their first CCAA game of the season Friday night...The Wildcats hit their first trey in the opening minute and never trailed, twice building up leads of 13...After being back nine at the break, UCSD got as close as four early in the second half but never seriously threatened down the stretch... Junior Clint Allard had a noteworthy line, accumulating 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, to go with seven rebounds and three assists...Sophomore Shane Poppen contributed 14 points with identical 7-3 rebound-assist numbers...Sophomore Darryl Lawlor and senior Robby Peters also reached double figures with 12 and 10 markers respectively...UCSD owned a 34-23 edge in the rebounding department.
Down four at halftime Saturday, UCSD took the lead on a Kelvin Kim bucket at 17:15 of the second half and never relinquished it in a 76-72 decision over Cal State Stanislaus ...Four Tritons hit double figures in the scoring column, led by Poppen with 16...Allard had 13 points and four assists, freshman Jordan Lawley netted 12 on 5-of-7 shooting and Lawlor added 11...UCSD, which shot 54.2% from the floor for the night, connected on 17 of its 22 second half free throws including the last six in a row to secure the win.
SEVENTEEN ALREADY QUALIFIED FOR NCAA SWIM CHAMPIONSHIPS
Coach Scott McGihon’s Swimming and Diving teams emerged from their fall season with 17 athletes automatically qualified for the NCAA Division II Championships, March 14-17, in Buffalo, NY...UCSD’s ninth-year coach, who termed the number “good but not great,” believes the Tritons have a legitimate shot at getting two or three more women and maybe half a dozen more men into the national meet.
Those with tickets already secured for Buffalo are Susan Bell, Emily Harlan, Kendall Bohn, Andrea Lippin, Katie Baier, Jennifer Sims, Shannon Simonds, Aubrey Panis, Heather Szmidt, Karla Holman nad Lauren O’Neill on the women’s side and Tim Fuller, Devin Ancona, Evan Hsiao, Steven Hardy and Jesse Marin for the men.
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