Game No. 17
UC San Diego Tritons (9-7, 4-6) vs. Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes (8-5, 6-3)
Thursday, January 20, 2011
RIMAC Arena (5,000) • 7:30 pm
Game No. 18
UC San Diego Tritons vs. Cal Poly Pomona Broncos
Saturday, January 22, 2011
RIMAC Arena (5,000) • 7:30 pm
Live Audio and Video
UCSD's matchups with Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona 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 Coyotes on Thursday, while Austin Olson will have the call against the Broncos on Saturday.
As always, live stats for both of this week's games will also be available. Click here to follow the action.
First Things First
After a strong showing against two of the top three teams in the California Collegiate Athletic Association last week, the UC San Diego men's basketball team concludes its four-game homestand when Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona come to town. The Tritons will square off with the third place Coyotes on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., before the defending national champion Broncos invade RIMAC Arena on Saturday at the same time.
For the Record
UCSD currently stands at 9-7 overall and 4-6 in the CCAA after splitting a pair of home games with Cal State L.A. and Cal State Dominguez Hills last week. The Tritons came from behind to knock off the Golden Eagles, 76-73, in double overtime on Thursday and then gave the league-leading and seventh-ranked Toros all they could handle before ultimately dropping a 57-49 decision on Saturday. UCSD has lost three of its last four overall, but still holds the eighth spot in the conference standings entering Thursday's matchup. The Tritons are 4-2 at RIMAC Arena following the setback to CSUDH.
Tritons Claw Way to Victory Over CSULA
Head coach Chris Carlson and the Tritons recorded one of their most impressive victories of the season last week, taking down visiting Cal State L.A. in double overtime. CSULA erased an 11-point first half deficit to lead 55-52 with 4:29 left in the second half, but UCSD came back to tie the game at 59 and force overtime. The Golden Eagles held a 66-61 advantage with 1:18 remaining in the first OT, but the Tritons came roaring back again, with Tyler McGrath hitting a huge three-pointer with six seconds on the clock to tie the game at 66 and force a second overtime period. UCSD went on to outscore CSULA 10-7 in the final session to claim the hard-fought 76-73 victory and hand the Golden Eagles their third loss of 2010-11.
Scouting the Coyotes and Broncos
• Cal State San Bernardino comes to town sporting an overall record of 8-5 and a 6-3 mark in the CCAA after collecting a losing a 69-61 decision at Cal Poly Pomona on Tuesday night. The Coyotes are currently in fourth place in the conference standings, two games behind leaders Cal State Dominguez Hills and Humboldt State in the loss column following the setback to the Broncos. Senior guard Aaron Hill is the team's leading scorer at 11.8 points per game, while also averaging 3.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Senior point guard Corey Caston is another player to watch, putting up 11.4 points and dishing out a team-high 5.5 assists. The Coyotes began the week with the conference's third-ranked offense, averaging 73.8 points per game, while the defense is allowing 66.5, a figure that ranks seventh.
• UCSD's second opponent this week is Cal Poly Pomona, which stands at 7-6 overall and 4-5 in conference play following the win over Cal State San Bernardino on Tuesday evening. The defending national champs have had an up-and-down season, but they seem to have found their stride recently, winning a season-best three straight. Junior forward Dwayne Fells leads three players in double figures for the Broncos, averaging 13.5 points on 66% shooting. He is also the team's leading rebounder, bringing down 6.6 boards per night. Sophomore guard Mitchel Anderson is another threat, averaging 12.3 points and 4.9 rebounds. Pomona's offense is averaging 67.2 points per game, which ranks eighth in the CCAA, while the defense ranks second allowing just 58.1. The Broncos will travel to Cal State East Bay on Thursday before squaring off with UCSD on Saturday.
Head-to-Head with CSUSB, CPP
UCSD trails the all-time series with Cal State San Bernardino, 23-15, and has won just eight of 25 head-to-head meetings with Cal Poly Pomona. The Tritons were swept by both teams in 2009-10, dropping consecutive games during the opening week of CCAA play in early December and then again the final weekend in January. UCSD's last win over CSUSB came on February 14, 2009. The Tritons last defeated the Broncos in the CCAA Tournament Championship game at the end of the 2007-08 season.
UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • Fr., 5-10, 165 - Has dished out a team-high 47 assists this season.
G - Justin Brue • So., 6-4, 205 - Finished with 17 points, five boards and four assists against CSULA.
G - Casey Ryan • Sr., 6-4, 195 - Hauled in a career-high 20 rebounds in win over Golden Eagles.
F - Ryan Peters • So., 6-3, 200 - Tallied seven points, four boards and two assists on Thursday.
C - Christian Hatch • Jr., 6-8, 245 - Averaging a team-high 14.6 points on 55% shooting.
Center of Attention
Christian Hatch had a monster game in the double overtime win over Cal State L.A. last week, finishing with a career-high 26 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth consecutive double-double. The junior center was 9-of-17 from the floor and 8-of-11 at the free throw line to eclipse his previous scoring mark of 24, which he set earlier this season. He scored six points in the decisive second overtime period, including back-to-back baskets that put UCSD up for good with 2:49 remaining. On the season, Hatch is averaging a team-high 14.6 points, while hauling in 7.1 boards and shooting 55% from the floor. He currently ranks sixth in the CCAA in both scoring and rebounding.
Ryan Takes Over CCAA Rebounding Lead
Casey Ryan is having a fantastic senior season, averaging career-highs of 12.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists through 16 games. He is shooting 42% from the field and has scored in double figures a total of 11 times this season. The Jackson native tallied his sixth double-double of the season in the win over Cal State L.A., racking up 12 points and a career-best 20 rebounds to go with four assists and a pair of steals. After finishing with five boards in the loss to Cal State Dominguez Hills, Ryan now leads the CCAA in rebounding at nearly 10 per game.
Just Brue It
Sophomore forward Justin Brue had a great week against Cal State L.A. and Cal State Dominguez Hills, averaging 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists to help the Tritons split with two of the best teams in the CCAA. He came up big in the win over the Golden Eagles, finishing with 17 points, five boards and four assists in a career-high 44 minutes and then came back with another strong outing against the Toros, tallying 11 points, seven boards, and three assists in a losing effort. On the season, the Hayward native is averaging 8.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He is shooting just under 40% from the field.
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.
UCSD was able to defeat Cal State L.A. despite shooting just 38.5% (25-65) from the field . The Triton offense has now finished below 40% in five consecutive games. UCSD shot 37% (17-46) in the loss to league-leading Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday... The Tritons enter Thursday's matchup with Cal State San Bernardino with the CCAA's 10th-ranked offense, putting up 64.2 points per game. Defensively, UCSD ranks fourth, surrendering just 62.0 points per game... The Tritons have done an excellent job of getting to the free throw line lately, averaging just under 28 attempts over the last six games. Their opponents have averaged just 17.8 attempts over that span. UCSD ranks fourth in the CCAA in free throw percentage at 72.5%... After squaring off with Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona this week, the Tritons will travel to Sonoma State and Humboldt State on February 3 and 5, respectively.