LA JOLLA, Calif. - Casey Ryan
scored a game-high 23 points and Tyler McGrath
finished with 19 to lead the UC San Diego men's basketball team to a 73-67 victory over UC Santa Cruz in an exhibition matchup on Saturday night at RIMAC Arena.
The Tritons evened their preseason record at 1-1 with win, bouncing back after suffering a 77-52 defeat in an exhibition at UC Irvine on Tuesday. UCSD will now open the 2010-11 regular season against Lewis University next Friday at the Disney West Coast Tip Off Classic in Anaheim.
Ryan finished 6-of-11 from the field and 11-of-14 at the free throw line to lead the Triton offense, while also grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. McGrath hit all five of his attempts from the three-point line and finished 5-of-7 overall en route to his highest scoring output at UCSD.
Freshman point guard James McCann finished with 11 points and a game-high six assists, while Christian Hatch tallied eight points and 10 boards.
Darrin Lew scored 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting to lead the Banana Slugs. He connected on three out of four attempts from beyond the arc.
The Tritons shot 48.8% (20-41) for the game, including a healthy 58% in the first half. UCSD held a 35-22 rebounding advantage and outscored UCSC 26-16 in the paint.
The Banana Slugs shot 40% (20-50) from the field and scored 23 points off 17 Triton turnovers.
UCSD jumped all over Santa Cruz in the opening half, taking a 16-3 lead on a layup by Hatch and a Mike Meza three-pointer. The visitors would close to within three at 20-17 on back-to-back threes by Lew and Trent Reeves, but the Tritons answered with nine straight points to take a 26-17 advantage with 5:33 left in the half.
Leading 31-22, McGrath would drain three straight triples in the final 2:07 to give UCSD its biggest lead at 40-22 heading into the locker room at intermission.
The Tritons led by as many as 20 in the second half, but UCSC chipped away at the deficit and eventually closed to within four at 71-67 with nine seconds remaining. It was too little, too late, however, as McCann hit a pair of free throws on UCSD's next possession to seal the victory.
The Tritons shot just 35% in the second period, while the Banana Slugs shot 54%. The two teams combined to shoot 58 free throws, with 44 coming in the second half.
Tipoff for the Tritons' contest against the Flyers is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Friday. For ticket information, visit www.gettravel.com/Tipoff.