TURLOCK, Calif. - Christian Hatch scored a game-high 17 points and Tyler McGrath put in 13, but it wasn't enough as the UC San Diego men's basketball team dropped a narrow 57-55 decision with Cal State Stanislaus on Saturday night at Fitzpatrick Arena.
The Tritons erased a seven-point second half deficit and tied the game at 41 with eight minutes to play, but they could not overtake the Warriors and lost for the second time in as many nights.
Evan Scott scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Cal State Stanislaus, which improved to 5-7 overall and 3-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association with its second straight win. The Warriors defeated Cal State East Bay 77-49 on Friday night.
UCSD, which had won two straight and three of four before losing to both Chico State and Stanislaus this weekend, falls to 8-6 overall and 3-5 in the CCAA. The Tritons will look to get things turned around with four straight at RIMAC Arena beginning next weekend when Cal State L.A. and Cal State Dominguez Hills come to town.
Hatch recorded his third consecutive double-double and fifth overall this season, after scoring 11 of his 17 points at the free throw line. McGrath was 3-of-4 from the three-point line and hit all four of his free throws to match his career-high, while Justin Brue finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well on Saturday, with Stanislaus finishing 19-for-49, 39%, and UCSD converting a season-low 14 field goals on 43 tries, 33%. The Tritons did most of their scoring at the free throw line, hitting 24-of-29, while the Warriors were 16-of-23 at the stripe.
UCSD out-rebounded Stanislaus 36-26 and held an 11-4 advantage in second chance points, but it wasn't enough to overcome the team's poor shooting performance. The Tritons have struggled mightily offensively over the last three games, shooting just 37%.
Stanislaus held a slim 24-23 lead after the first half and pushed the margin to 35-28 following a jumper by Reggie Jones seven minutes into the second period.
McGrath answered with a three for UCSD and a total of eight free throws from Hatch, McGrath and Brue over the next four and a half minutes would erase the Warrior lead, as Brue's pair tied the game at 41 all with 7:59 on the clock.
CSUS scored 11 of the next 15 points to take a 51-45 lead with less than three minutes remaining, but the Warriors missed four free throws in the final 2:16, leaving the door open for UCSD.
Hatch and Casey Ryan combined to score six points as the Tritons closed to within one at 52-51 with 48 second left, but the Warriors scored the next three points - all at the foul line - to make it 55-51 with just 17 ticks remaining. Four free throws from Hatch and Ryan cut the deficit to one once more with two seconds left, but it was too little too late, as the home team escaped with the 57-55 win.
Tip-off for UCSD's tilt with Cal State L.A. is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday at RIMAC Arena.