HAYWARD, Calif. - Drew Dyer scored a career-high 30 points to lead the UC San Diego men's basketball team to a 69-60 win against California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) opponent Cal State East Bay Saturday night at Pioneer Gym.
The victory upped UCSD's overall record to 5-8 and its CCAA mark to 4-6. Winners of four of their last five games, the Tritons picked up a 63-58 win at Cal State Monterey Bay Friday night.
"You have to be mentally tough to win on the road in the CCAA and I thought we exhibited that all weekend," said UCSD head coach Chris Carlson. "I was extremely pleased with our effort this weekend against two very good teams."
Dyer, a freshman forward/guard that transferred to UCSD from Air Force, was solid all night, splitting his 30 points evenly between the two halves. The Aurora, Colo., native went 12-for-15 overall from the field and made all six of his three-point attempts. He also tacked on seven rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.
Dyer smashed his previous career-high of 17 points, scored at Humboldt State on Jan. 5. His 30 points were the second-most scored by a Triton this season as guard Tyler McGrath poured in a career-best 33 against Fresno Pacific back in November.
McGrath and MacKenzie McCullough both finished with 10 points against the Pioneers tonight. Colin Porter had a game co-high eight rebounds and added three steals for the Tritons. Point guard James McCann dished out five assists.
Gabe Kindred led the Pioneers with his 20 points and eight boards. Nick Marshall followed with 15 points and Jacari Whitfield was just behind with 14.
UC San Diego, which never trailed in the game, jumped out to a 3-0 lead when McCullough buried a trey at the 18:25 mark with Dyer picking up the assist. On the next possession, the Pioneers knotted the score for the only time all night when Whitfield answered with his own three-ball. However, Dyer immediately stroked his first three-pointer of the night to put the Tritons back in front for good.
A jumper by Porter at the end of the first half gave UCSD a 15-point lead (35-20) heading into the locker room.
The Tritons, who shot 46.4 percent over the opening half, upped that mark to 52 percent in the second stanza. After almost three minutes had elapsed with neither squad scoring a point, Dyer hit a three to extend UCSD's lead to 18, its largest of the night, at 38-20.
Twice the Pioneers would whittle the lead back down to single digits. The first time came with 7:11 left in the game when Marshall's jumper made the score 50-42 in favor of the Tritons. However, UCSD strung together a 15-6 run, capped by another Dyer three with 2:50 on the clock that ran his team's lead back up to 17 at 65-48.
The final basket of the night was scored by Whitfield, whose layup with two seconds remaining got the Pioneers under the 10-point deficit mark again.
East Bay, which fell to 5-9 on the season and 4-6 in conference play, also improved its shooting in the second half, going from 25.9 percent to 54.2 percent.
The Tritons made 10 three-pointers on the night, a season-high. They turned the ball over 11 times, leading to 11 points for the Pioneers.
"We had solid efforts from everyone involved," said Carlson. "Our frontcourt was great all weekend, as evidenced by Colin Porter's rebounding and Drew Dyer's scoring. We're looking forward to continuing to build on our recent improvements."
UCSD plays at San Francisco State on Feb. 25 and at Sonoma State on Feb. 26. Both games are slated for 7:30 p.m. starts. The tilts are the middle two of a six-game road swing for the Tritons.
-- UCSDtritons.com --