LA JOLLA, Calif. – UC San Diego couldn’t overcome a slow start in a 70-64 loss against Cal State Stanislaus Friday night at RIMAC Arena. James McCann (Carlsbad/La Costa Canyon HS) powered a second-half comeback and finished with 19 points, but the Warriors prevailed in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) matchup.
The Tritons fall to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the CCAA following the loss, while the Warriors improve to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in CCAA play with the win.
McCann finished the night with a team-high 19 points on four-of-nine shooting and 10-14 from the free-throw line, and also contributed five assists and four rebounds. Adam Klie scored 11 points and MacKenzie McCullough and Hunter Walker each added 10 points in the loss, respectively.
The Tritons finished the night 39.2% from the floor on 20-of-51 shooting, while Cal State Stanislaus ended 42% from the field on 21-of-50 shooting. Each squad made eight three-pointers on the night as the Warriors finished 8-of-16 from deep, while the Tritons only made eight-of-22 attempts.
The Warriors came out of the gate strong and grabbed an early lead of 19-9 following a pair of threes and a dunk from Marcus Bell to set the tone. Cal State Stanislaus eventually grabbed its largest lead of the night of 13 points, 24-11, with 7:50 remaining in the half. At the intermission, CSUS led 35-25 after scoring 15 points of seven Triton turnovers.
The second half proved to be a different story for the Tritons after being held to only 25 points in the opening period. Aleks Lipovic opened the half with a three to get UCSD on the board and was followed by a McCullough trey to pull the Tritons back into striking distance.
UCSD cut the deficit to a pair on two different occasions in the second half, but could never fight all the way back. Walker nailed a jumper with 12:12 remaining to make the score 45-43, but the Warriors continued to answer each Triton comeback effort.
The Tritons made one final comeback effort and pulled within four with 1:01 remaining, but once again CSUS answered with strong free-throw shooting to seal the 70-64 conference road victory.
The Warriors dominated on the boards and won the rebounding battle 39-30, including 14 offensive rebounds by CSUS. One difference in the game also proved to be Cal State Stanislaus’ 18 points off 10 Triton turnovers.
The Warriors were led by a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds from Bell, while Sam Marcus scored a game-high 21 points.
The Tritons face No. 21 Chico State in another CCAA matchup tomorrow night at RIMAC Arena with tipoff slated for 7:30 p.m.