LA JOLLA, Calif. - Beginning the final four home games of the regular season at RIMAC Arena on Friday, the UC San Diego men's basketball team dropped a game to the Pioneers of Cal State East Bay, 72-49, for its fourth straight loss.
The Tritons fall to 9-13 overall and 8-11 in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) competition. UCSD will try to return to the win column against last place Cal State Monterey Bay (8-18, 4-15 CCAA) on Saturday in a game scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
With 10 points, junior guard James McCann was the only Triton to score in double figures. The Carlsbad native also contributed two rebounds and three assists.
Junior forward Ryan Hebebrand led the Pioneers with a game-high 17 points and seven rebounds. Senior forward Jurrell Turner finished with 13 points, one rebound, one assist, two blocks and two steals, while senior guard Jason Smith had 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Senior forward Vincent Capellino ended with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.
East Bay scored 25 points off of 16 Triton turnovers.
In addition, the Pioneers shot consistently well throughout the game, posting percentages above 50 percent in both halves to finish with a 25-for-45 (55.6%) effort. In comparison, the Tritons only shot 17-for-49 (34.7%), including a dismal 1-for-16 (6.3%) performance from three-point range.
Already down by a score of 31-20 going into the second half, the Tritons managed to trim their deficit to eight, 33-25, when senior guard Ryan Peters sank a free throw with 18:07 left in the game.
But after McCann scored at the 16:45 mark, it proved to be the last UCSD basket for more than six minutes. During that span, the Pioneers went on a 20-0 run to put the game well out of reach. The run was capped off by Hebebrand after making a pair of free throws to provide the Pioneers a 30-point, 57-27 advantage with 10:58 to go. Hebebrand's layup at the 9:28 reading gave East Bay its largest lead of the contest, 61-30.
The Tritons displayed a non-defeatist attitude in the game's final minutes, finishing the contest with a 6-0 run that was concluded by junior guard Matt Bailey's layup with only 42 seconds to spare before the final buzzer to bring UCSD within 23 points, 72-49.
The Tritons had their taste of the lead in the early portion of the first half at three different times. The last of those occurred when freshman guard/forward Hunter Walker drilled a go-ahead jumper with 11:42 remaining to give UCSD a 10-9 lead.
But when Capellino sank a trey at the 11:20 mark, it gave the Pioneers a 12-10 lead and kicked off an 11-0 run from which the Tritons could not recover.
The Pioneers, who snap an 11-game losing streak, climb to 6-17 overall and 5-14 in CCAA play. CSUEB will take on second-place Cal State San Bernardino (16-6, 14-5 CCAA) at Coussoulis Arena on Saturday in a game set for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
-- UCSDtritons.com --