Sonoma State (10-14, 8-12)
Thursday, Feb. 28 • 7:30 p.m.
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla
Radio: ESPN 1700
San Francisco State (15-9, 13-7)
Friday, March 1 • 7:30 p.m.
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla
Radio: ESPN 1700
Tickets for all regular season home games at RIMAC Arena are available at the main entrance on game day. General admission prices are $10 for adults (ages 7 and up) and $5 for seniors (ages 65 and up), visiting students and UCSD Alumni Association members. UCSD students and children under 7 are admitted free. For info on group tickets or questions, please call 858.534.2508.
If you can't make it to RIMAC Arena this week, you can still follow the games live. Both contests will be broadcast by ESPN Radio 1700, with Craig Elsten calling the play-by-play on Thursday and Jordan Carruth handling the duties on Friday. A video stream, coupled with the ESPN audio, is available at http://bit.ly/gWUuRJ. In addition, live stats can be found at http://bit.ly/fsRBt5.
The first 1,000 fans in RIMAC Arena Friday, starting with the women's game at 5:30 p.m., will receive pom-poms. In addition, a lucky fan at each game will win an iPad Mini, courtesy of San Diego County Toyota Dealers. There will be a between-game taligate with free food and fireworks following the men's game.
Prior to the start of Friday night's game, the four senior members of this season's squad will be recognized. Justin Brue, Tyler McGrath, Ryan Peters and Colin Porter will be playing in the final regular season game of their careers.
For the first time since the 2008-09 season, UCSD has clinched a spot in the eight-team CCAA Tournament. Entering the week, the Tritons sit in seventh place in the league with a 9-11 record. Sonoma State is eighth at 8-12 and Humboldt State is ninth at 7-13. If UCSD and HSU were to finish tied at 9-13, the Tritons would win the tiebreaker as they were 2-0 against the Lumberjacks this season. If UCSD, HSU and SSU all finish at 9-13, the Tritons would win that tiebreaker as well since Humboldt was 0-2 against both of the other tied teams. The Tritons will play on the road in a first round game on Tuesday, March 5, with their opponent still to be determined. Joining UCSD as tourney spot clinchers are Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State San Bernardino, San Francisco State, Cal State L.A., Chico State and Cal State Dominguez Hills. The eighth qualifier has not yet been determined. The tournament semifinals and final will be contested at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., on Friday, March 8 (5:30 and 8 p.m.) and Saturday, March 9 (8 p.m.), respectively.
BRUE APPROACHING CAREER REBOUND RECORD
Justin Brue needs 17 rebounds to overtake Shane Poppen for UCSD's Division II career record. Poppen totaled 544 (2005-09), while Brue has grabbed 528 since the 2009-10 season. Brue recently passed Christian Hatch, who amassed 523 boards between 2008 and 2012.
RIPE FROM THE STRIPE
UCSD has been dominant from the free throw line as the Tritons lead the CCAA and rank fifth nationally in free throw percentage at 77.3% (296-for-383). Tyler McGrath leads the league and is 21st in the country at 87.9% (80-for-91), while James McCann ranks sixth in the CCAA and 63rd nationally at 84.5% (98-for-116). McGrath finished the 2011-12 season as the CCAA's leader in free throw percentage at 83.3%.
UCSD is well on its way to establishing a new program single season record for free throw percentage. The current all-time mark is .748 (481-for-643), set during the team's 1986-87 campaign. Entering this week, the Tritons are at .773 (296-for-383).
CAL STATE EAST BAY REWIND
The Tritons shot just 34.7% (17-49) from the field and made just one of 16 three-point attempts as the Pioneers took a 72-49 win at RIMAC Arena on Feb. 22. James McCann was the lone UCSD player to hit double digits in points with 10. East Bay shot 55.6% (25-45) for the game and scored 25 points off of 16 UCSD turnovers. The 49 points scored by UCSD was the team's lowest total of the season.
CAL STATE MONTEREY BAY REWIND
Five Tritons scored 10 or more points, including James McCann (19), Tyler McGrath (14), Drew Dyer (13), Justin Brue (12) and Hunter Walker (12) as UCSD posted an 82-67 win over CSUMB on Feb. 23 at RIMAC Arena. Brue recorded a double-double by adding a game-high 10 rebounds. The Tritons out-rebounded the Otters, 39-23, and made nine three-pointers on the night.
A LOOK AT THE SEAWOLVES
Sonoma State enters Thursday's game at 10-14 overall and in eighth place in the CCAA with an 8-12 mark. The Seawolves are fighting for the eighth and final spot in next week's league tournament. One win in their final two will assure them of a berth. Patrick Scott leads the CCAA in scoring, averaging 15.9 points/game. Will Olsem is tied for fifth at 14.5 points/game. Justin Herold averages a team-best 5.5 rebounds, while Jason Walter is dishing out 2.2 assists/game. The Seawolves have lost four of their last five and split last week's games, defeating Humboldt State (83-68) and falling to No. 4 Cal Poly Pomona (60-68).
A LOOK AT THE GATORS
San Francisco State, which plays at Cal State San Bernardino Friday night, comes into the week at 15-9 overall and 13-7 in the CCAA, good for third place. The Gators are looking to sew up a home first round tourney game. SFSU won both of its games last week at home, downing No. 4 Cal Poly Pomona (57-55) and Humboldt State (79-61). Calvin Otiono is averaging 12.8 points/game, while Decensae White, the reigning CCAA Player of the Week, is just behind at 12.2. William Overton, Jr. is dropping 11.1 points/game, while White is the team's top rebounder, averaging 7.4 boards/game.
The NCAA released its second regional rankings of the season Wednesday. The top 10 in the West goes: 1. Western Washington, 2. Cal Poly Pomona, 3. Seattle Pacific, 4. Dixie State, 5. Grand Canyon, 6. Cal State San Bernardino, 7. Chaminade, 8. San Francisco State, 9. Alaska Anchorage and 10. Chico State.
3,897's A CROWD
The Spirit Night (an annual campus event) game against Humboldt State on Friday, Feb. 8, drew a crowd of 3,897, the second-highest attendance at a men's basketball game in the history of RIMAC Arena.
UCSD returned to RIMAC Arena on Feb. 8 following a season-long, six-game road swing that began at Cal State Monterey Bay on Jan. 18. It was the team's longest away streak since the 2007-08 season, when UCSD played eight consecutive road games, half of those coming at the CCAA Tournament and NCAA West Regional. During the 2005-06 season, the Tritons played nine straight regular season games away from La Jolla.
FOUR ON THE FLOOR
UCSD's recent four-game win streak was its longest since the 2008-09 season when the Tritons won five straight between Jan. 16 and Jan. 30. All of those victories were also against CCAA teams (Cal State Monterey Bay, San Francisco State, Cal State Stanislaus, Chico State and Sonoma State). The Tritons had a pair of five-game streaks that season.
HOW LOW CAN YOU GO
The 34 points recorded by Cal State L.A. on Feb. 2 were the fewest given up by the Tritons since an 85-25 win over Caltech on Jan. 8, 1983. The total was the third-lowest on record in program history (117-27 win vs. LIFE Bible College on 12/6/75).
UCSD's 20-point (85-65) win at Sonoma State on Jan. 26 was the team's largest margin of victory this season. The previous was nine points at Cal State East Bay (69-60) and against Fresno Pacific (83-74). At the other extreme, the Tritons' 73-50 loss against Cal Poly Pomona on Feb. 9 was its largest margin of defeat.
LIVIN' IN THE 80s
UCSD's 85 points scored at Sonoma State on Jan. 26 was a season-high. The last time the Tritons posted a higher total was on Nov. 4, 2011, a 102-74 win against Chestnut Hill at the Disney Classic in Anaheim. UCSD has eclipsed the 80-point plateau four times this season (90-82 loss at CSUSB on 11/24; 83-74 win vs. Fresno Pacific on 11/10; 82-67 win vs. Cal State Monterey Bay on 2/23).
BEHIND THE DISH
James McCann's nine assists at Sonoma State on Jan. 26 set a new career-high for the point guard. His previous best was eight at Cal State San Bernardino on Dec. 19, 2011. McCann is dishing out 4.3 helpers per game, tied for first in the CCAA with Sam Marcus of Cal State Stanislaus.
McGRATH NAMED CCAA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tyler McGrath was named the Wilson/CCAA Player of the Week on Jan. 28. McGrath led UCSD in scoring (23.5 points/game), three-pointers (9), free throws (8), and minutes (70) over two league road games. He made 52 percent (15 of 29) of his shots from the field, 47 percent (9 of 19) from behind the three point line and 89 percent (8 of 9) of his free throws. In an 85-65 blowout of Sonoma State, McGrath netted a game-high 32 points, one short of his career-best, on 10-for-15 shooting. He made a career-high six three pointers while also adding two rebounds, two assists and a steal in 36 minutes of play. The night prior, McGrath had team-highs with 15 points and five rebounds in a 70-55 loss at San Francisco State. He is the first Triton to win the honor since Jordan Lawley on Feb. 8, 2010.
THE SIXTH CENTURY
UCSD'S win at Humboldt State on Jan. 5, its first-ever victory in Arcata, was the 600th victory in program history..
Prior to Cal State San Bernardino scoring 90 on Nov. 24, no UCSD opponent had posted a point total that high since Cal State Monterey Bay won 97-93 in double overtime on Jan. 26, 2008 at RIMAC Arena. The last time an opponent put up 90-plus in regulation was on Jan. 4, 2007 when Humboldt State downed the Tritons 90-76 in Arcata.
ALL BUT ONE
UCSD returns all but one of its starters from last season, including full-timers James McCann, Tyler McGrath and Justin Brue, along with part-timers MacKenzie McCullough and Ryan Peters. That group accounted for 61% of the team's scoring and 50% of its rebounds. The lone loss was big man Christian Hatch, who led the Tritons in scoring (12.5/game) and rebounding (7.3/game). The center was named to the All-CCAA Second Team.
COACH AND COACH
UCSD head coach Chris Carlson will be a weekly guest on XX Sports 1090's "Coach" Kentera Show. Carlson will join host John Kentera every Tuesday at approximately 8:30 p.m. You can listen online as well at http://bit.ly/TsuTZ6.
There are now more ways than ever to follow the Tritons. Of course, you've always got UCSDtritons.com at your fingertips, but our social media scene is growing by the hour. Get instant updates on Twitter (UCSDtritons) and like us on Facebook (UCSDtritons). For a more visual approach, watch us on YouTube (UCSDathletics). Be sure to follow us all year for updates, behind the scene looks and great giveaways!
UC San Diego Athletics is excited to announce the launch of UCSDTritonsGear.com, which provides a web-based, on-demand option for UCSD athletic apparel and merchandise. Fans have access to over 600 products, including special event and championship gear.
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