LA JOLLA, Calif. - In its final home game of the season, the UC San Diego men's basketball team fell victim to Sonoma State for the second time this year, losing by a 76-58 count Saturday night at RIMAC Arena.
UCSD is now 14-10 overall and 10-10 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). With two regular season games left, the Tritons remain tied with San Francisco State for sixth place. The top six teams qualify for the league tournament, which will be held March 6-8 in Ontario, Calif.
SSU, which had lost three straight games coming into Saturday, improved its overall record to 6-18 and its CCAA mark to 5-15.
UCSD had just two leads all night and they came early in the first half. Hunter Walker drilled a three-pointer three minutes into the game to put the Tritons up 5-3. SSU tied it with a layup before Drew Dyer hit another three at 15:36 to move UC San Diego back in front, 8-5. However, David Ahern nailed two straight treys to give the Seawolves an 11-8 advantage at 13:43 and they would not trail again.
Sonoma State, which led 37-26 at the break, made 52 percent of its shots, including four of six three-point attempts, in the second half.
UCSD would get no closer than eight points when a layup by Treavon Francis with 12:25 left in the game made the score 49-41. The Seawolves' largest lead of the night was 20 as a Michael Avery layup made it 76-56 with 33 seconds remaining.
The Tritons, which shot 37 percent (19-52) from the field, got 20 points, five assists, three rebounds, two steals and a block from James McCann. Dyer finished with 19 points and team-high six rebounds. He was 7-for-11 and made four three-pointers.
Jason Walter paced the Seawolves, recording a double-double with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Ahern totaled 19 points and James Davis had 10.
SSU shot 49 percent (24-49) and made 10 of 21 long-range shots. The Seawolves owned a 37-26 advantage in rebounding.
Sonoma State also defeated UC San Diego in Rohnert Park on Jan. 17 by a score of 79-54. The two squads had split the series in each of the last three seasons. The last time the Seawolves swept was during the 2009-10 campaign.
UCSD concludes its regular season on the road next week, playing at Cal State L.A. on Friday, Feb. 28, and at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday, March 1. Both games tip at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN Radio 1700.