Game No. 15
UC San Diego Tritons (8-6, 3-5) vs. Cal State L.A. Golden Eagles (10-2, 6-2)
Thursday, January 13, 2011
RIMAC Arena (5,00) • 7:30 pm
Game No. 16
UC San Diego Tritons vs. No. 7 Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros
Saturday, January 15, 2011
RIMAC Arena (5,00) • 7:30 pm
Live Audio and Video
UCSD's matchups with Cal State L.A. and Cal State Dominguez Hills will be streamed live at ucsdtritons.com. To access the live broadcast, click here. Craig Elsten, who is in his second season as the voice of Triton Basketball, will handle the play-by-play duties against the Golden Eagles on Thursday, while Austin Olson will have the call against the Toros on Saturday.
Live stats for both of this week's games will also be available. Click here to follow the action.
First Things First
After going 1-2 in three games on the road last week, the UC San Diego men's basketball team will return to La Jolla, looking to take advantage of four straight games at home. The Tritons will have their work cut out for them this weekend, however, as two of the California Collegiate Athletic Association's top three teams are scheduled to visit RIMAC Arena. UCSD will take on third place Cal State L.A. on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., before entertaining league-leading Cal State Dominguez at the same time on Saturday.
For the Record
UCSD enters Thursday's matchup with Cal State L.A. with an overall record of 8-6 and a 3-5 mark in the CCAA after losing a pair of close games with Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus last weekend. The Tritons had won three of four heading into the weekend, but dropped a 68-55 decision to the Wildcats following a late run by the home team on Friday and then suffered a narrow 57-55 defeat at the hands of the Warriors on Saturday. Despite the back-to-back losses, UCSD is still sitting in seventh place in the conference standings after eight league games. The Tritons are 3-1 at home so far this season.
Where Did the O Go?
After scoring 73 points on 45% shooting in a home win over Sonoma State on December 30, UCSD's offense hit a rough patch last week as the Tritons averaged just 58 points and shot a combined 37% from the field against Cal State East Bay, Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus. UCSD was able to get by East Bay despite shooting 39% from the field, but the offense was clearly an issue in the setbacks to Chico and Stanislaus. The Tritons finished with just 55 points and shot below 39% in both of those games, including a season-low 33% effort in the loss to the Warriors on Saturday. Head coach Chris Carlson's squad had shot better than 40% from the field in six straight games before last week.
Scouting the Golden Eagles and Toros
• Cal State L.A. comes to town with an overall record of 10-2 and a 6-2 mark in the CCAA after picking up wins at Cal State Monterey Bay and San Francisco State over the weekend. The Golden Eagles defeated the Otters, 69-62, on Friday to begin the week and then took down the Gators, 85-80, in overtime the following night. CSULA is currently one game behind Cal State Dominguez Hills and Humboldt State for the top spot in the conference standings. Senior guard Franklin Session leads for players averaging double figures at 15.3 points per game, while also hauling down 7.0 rebounds and dishing out a team-high 2.7 assists per night. Senior forward David Norris has been a handful on the block, averaging 11.5 points and grabbing a team-high 9.7 rebounds per game. The Golden Eagles currently rank sixth in the CCAA offensively, averaging 67.2 points per game, while the defense has been excellent, allowing just 58.5, which ranks second.
• Things won't get any easier on Saturday, as league-leading Cal State Dominguez Hills is set to invade RIMAC. The Toros begin the week with an impressive overall record of 11-1, which is the best start in the program's history. CSUDH is 7-1 against CCAA foes, with the lone defeat coming against Cal State San Bernardino on December 4. The Toros, who are currently ranked seventh in this week's NABC Division II Coaches Poll, dispatched San Francisco State (73-55) and Cal State Monterey Bay (79-70) last week to push their winning streak to five and maintain a share of first place in the conference standings. Senior forward Michael Cox is the team's leading scorer and rebounder at 14.8 points and 7.4 boards per game, while also shooting a team-high 58% from the field. Fellow senior Marcquintice Davis is averaging 12.3 points and leads the team dishing out 4.5 assists per night. Dominguez Hills hangs its hat on defense and it shows, as the Toros are currently allowing a league-leading 57.5 points per game. Offensively, CSUDH ranks sixth, putting up 67.2. The Toros will travel to Cal State East Bay on Thursday before squaring off with UCSD on Saturday.
Head-to-Head With CSULA, CSUDH
UCSD holds a narrow 12-10 advantage in the all-time series with Cal State L.A., while also claiming a small 16-14 edge head-to-head with Cal State Dominguez Hills. The Tritons split the season series with the Golden Eagles in 2009-10, posting an 83-77 home victory after losing the first meeting of the year, 62-53. UCSD dropped both contests with the Toros, falling 67-55 in Carson in the first meeting and then losing a 68-58 decision in the second.
UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • Fr., 5-10, 165 - Leads UCSD with 43 assists on the season.
G - Justin Brue • So., 6-4, 205 - Finished with 11 points and six rebounds in loss to Cal State Stanislaus.
G - Casey Ryan • Sr., 6-4, 195 - Averaging 12.6 points and a team-high 9.4 rebounds through 14 games.
F - Ryan Peters • So., 6-3, 200 - Started all 14 games this season.
C - Christian Hatch • Jr., 6-8, 245 - Posted a double-double in all three games last week.
Center of Attention
While his team struggled at times last week, junior center Christian Hatch was outstanding, averaging 20.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in UCSD's three games. For the week, he shot 50% (15-30) from the field, converted 79% (30-38) of his free throws and tallied three consecutive double-doubles. Hatch was an absolute beast in the win over Cal State East Bay, scoring a career-best 24 points and grabbing 12 boards in just 28 minutes of action. He also finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds in a losing effort against Cal State Stanislaus. On the season, he is averaging a team-high 14.4 points, while hauling in 6.4 boards and shooting 54% from the floor.
Casey Ryan is having a fantastic senior season, averaging a career-highs of 12.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists through 14 games. He is shooting 45% from the field and has scored in double figures a total of 10 times this season. The Jackson native had a big game in the win over Cal State East Bay last Monday, tallying his fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 17 boards. He had another solid outing in the loss to Chico State four days later, finishing with 13 points in nine boards in a losing effort.
Tritons Picked to Finish 11th in CCAA Coaches Poll
UCSD was selected to finish 11th in the California Collegiate Athletic Association regular season standings, according to the league's preseason coaches poll that was released last month. The Tritons, who finished ninth in the conference last season at 7-15, received 21 points in the poll, 10 behind 10th place Cal State Monterey Bay. Defending national champion Cal Poly Pomona was picked to win the 2010-11 CCAA regular season title, receiving 10 first place votes and a total of 120 points. Cal State Dominguez Hills collected 100 points and earned one first place vote to finish second, while Cal State San Bernardino was third after garnering 98 points. Humboldt State, which earned the remaining first place vote, tallied 95 points to finish fourth, followed by Chico State (85), Sonoma State (69), Cal State Stanislaus (58), San Francisco State (52), Cal State L.A. (51), and Cal State Monterey Bay (31) coming in fifth through 10th, respectively. Cal State East Bay, which is not eligible for the conference title, finished 12th with 12 points.
The Tritons enter Friday's matchup against Cal State L.A. with the CCAA's 10th ranked offense at 64.5 points per game... UCSD ranks fifth defensively, limiting the opposition to an average of just 61.6 points per game... The Tritons held Cal State East Bay, Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus to a combined 59.3 points in three games last week... UCSD has not lost three games all season... The Tritons lost two in a row during the first week of CCAA play in early December, but rebounded to defeat Cal State East Bay in the first meeting of the year to end the skid... The upcoming four-game homestand will be UCSD's longest of the season... The Tritons will also play four straight at home in early February... Following this weekend's matchups with Cal State L.A. and Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State San Bernardino and defending national champion Cal Poly Pomona are up next on the schedule January 20 and 22.