CARSON, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's basketball team held on for a 69-68 victory at Cal State Dominguez Hills Saturday night, but the Tritons were edged out of a berth in next week's California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament.
UCSD's season comes to an end with a 15-11 overall record and an even 11-11 mark in CCAA play. The Tritons finished seventh in the league.
San Francisco State knocked UCSD out of the six-team league tournament by virtue of a 66-47 home victory against Cal State Monterey Bay Saturday. The win gave the Gators the sixth and final spot in the tourney, which will be played March 6-8 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.
"Tonight was a good response after last night's disappointment (71-70 loss at Cal State L.A.)," said first-year UCSD head coach Eric Olen. "We took care of our end, but unfortunately didn't get the help we needed to make the tourney."
Drew Dyer recorded a double-double for UCSD with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Aleks Lipovic totaled 15 points, while Adam Klie had 11 and James McCann finished with 10 assists to go along with eight points. All 15 of Lipovic's points came on three-pointers.
CSUDH got a game-high 23 points out of Pierson Williams, who was 8-for-12 from the field. Givon Crump added 13 points while Moriba DeFreitas led the Toros on the boards with five rebounds.
Cal State Dominguez Hills outshot UC San Diego, 57 percent to 51 percent. The Toros made 63 percent of their shots in the second half.
The Tritons led by 14 points when a Dyer three made the score 62-48 with 9:40 remaining in the game. It was the largest advantage of the night for UCSD.
Down by 10 at the 8:14 mark, CSUDH went on an 11-1 run to tie the game at 66-66 with 2:40 on the clock. It was just the second tie score of the game.
Hunter Walker made a layup and a free throw to put UCSD back up by three, 69-66. The Toros turned the ball over on their next possession, but the Tritons returned the favor. Williams was then fouled and made both free throws to bring Dominguez Hills within a point with 1:22 left.
The Tritons missed a three-point shot and CSUDH grabbed the defensive rebound with 49 seconds left. Jason Payne launched a three-pointer with three seconds remaining, but it was off the mark and time ran out.
UCSD led 40-32 at halftime.
The Tritons' 15 victories this season were the most since their 2008-09 campaign when they collected 17.
"I'm really proud of this team and appreciate the attitude and effort that everyone exerted on a daily basis," said Olen. "Their energy and enthusiasm made it a lot of fun to coach this team."