Game No. 19
UC San Diego Tritons (9-9, 4-8) at Sonoma State Seawolves (6-10, 4-10)
Thursday, January 27, 2011
The Wolves' Den (2,000) • 7:30 pm
Game No. 20
UC San Diego Tritons at Humboldt State Lumberjacks
Saturday, January 27, 2011
Lumberjack Arena (1,850) • 7:30 pm
Both of the Tritons' road games this week will be streamed live. Click here to access the Seawolf Sports Network and watch the live broadcast against Sonoma State. The matchup against Humboldt State can be accessed live via USTREAM here.
All CCAA basketball games are available via Live Stats, as well. To follow the action against the Seawolves on Thursday, click here. Live stats for Saturday's tilt with the Lumberjacks are are available by clicking here.
First Things First
Following a pair of tough home losses to Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona, the UC San Diego men's basketball team will hit the road looking to put an end to its current skid. The Tritons will travel to Rohnert Park to take on Sonoma State on Thursday evening, before squaring off with second place Humboldt State in Arcata on Saturday. As always, both games will follow the women's contests and tip-off at approximately 7:30 p.m.
For the Record
UCSD heads to Northern California with an overall record of 9-9 and a 4-8 mark in California Collegiate Athletic Association play after falling to Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona by a combined three points last week. The Tritons lost a 60-59 heartbreaker with the Coyotes on Thursday and then came up short in a 54-52 decision with the defending national champion Broncos two nights later. Despite losing three straight and five of its last six, UCSD still sits in eighth place in the CCAA standings, entering the week in a three-way tie with Cal State Stanislaus and Sonoma State.
Oh, So Close
The Tritons have played a lot of close games lately, with four of their previous five being decided by three points or less. While UCSD has gone just 1-4 over that stretch, the Tritons have been in a position to win all five. UCSD's lone victory during that period came in double overtime against Cal State L.A. on January 13 and the only game that was decided by more than three came against league-leader Cal State Dominguez Hills two nights later, when the Tritons cut a nine-point deficit down to 48-47 late in the second half, only to fall 57-49.
Scouting the Seawolves and Lumberjacks
• Sonoma State enters Thursday's matchup with an overall record of 6-10 and a 4-8 mark in the CCAA after losing at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Friday, but bouncing back with a 69-61 win at Cal State L.A. the following night. Currently tied with the Tritons for eighth place in the league standings, the Seawolves had lost four straight and six of seven before defeating the Golden Eagles on Saturday. Senior guard Ben Washington leads the team in scoring at 12.2 points per game on 49.6% shooting, while also hauling down 3.1 rebounds and dishing out 2.1 assists. Sophomore guard Will Olsem is another threat, averaging 9.6 points off the bench. He is Sonoma's top three-point shooter with 39 triples on the year. The Seawolves own the CCAA's second-ranked offense at 74.7 points per game, while the SSU defense is surrendering 74.7 as well, a figure that ranks 11th.
• After facing Sonoma on Thursday, UCSD will then face Humboldt State in Arcata on Saturday. The Lumberjacks enter the week with an overall record of 14-2 and an impressive 11-2 tally in conference play after splitting with Cal State L.A. and Cal State Dominguez Hills over the weekend. After defeating CSULA, 57-51, on Friday, Humboldt suffered a 76-59 setback at CSUDH on Saturday, falling a game behind the first place Toros in the conference standings. Senior forward Brian Morris is averaging team-highs of 18.7 points and 7.8 rebounds through 16 games this season, while also leading the Lumberjacks in field goal percentage at 58%. Morris currently ranks second in the CCAA in scoring and third in rebounding. Junior forward Randy Hunter is also having a fine season, averaging 15.3 points and 7.4 rebounds. Humboldt features the conference's top offense at 79.2 points per game, while the defense ranks eighth, holding the opposition to 67.9.
UCSD trails the all-time series with Sonoma State, 16-10, and has won just three of 13 previous matchups with Humboldt State. The Tritons registered a 73-64 victory over the Seawolves on December 30 at RIMAC Arena earlier this season, but dropped a 67-57 decision with the Lumberjacks on December 19. Casey Ryan scored a career-high 28 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists to lead UCSD past SSU.
UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • Fr., 5-10, 165 - Tallied 14 points, five boards and two assists in loss to CSUSB.
G - Justin Brue • So., 6-4, 205 - Leads UCSD with 16 blocked shots on the season.
G - Casey Ryan • Sr., 6-4, 195 - CCAA rebounding leader at 9.5 per game.
F - Ryan Peters • So., 6-3, 200 - Started all 18 games this season.
C - Christian Hatch • Jr., 6-8, 245 - Averaging a team-high 14.2 points on 54% shooting.
Center of Attention
Center Christian Hatch has put together a tremendous junior campaign thus far. He enters Thursday's matchup with Sonoma State averaging a team-high 14.2 points to go with 7.0 rebounds per game. The Henderson, Nev. native is also shooting a team-high 54% from the field. He currently ranks seventh in the CCAA in scoring and sixth in rebounding. Hatch has scored in double figures nine times in the last 10 games, including both contests last week. He finished with 12 points and five boards in the loss to Cal State San Bernardino and then tallied 10 points and eight boards in a losing effort against Cal Poly Pomona.
Casey Ryan is the lone senior on the UCSD roster in 2010-11 and he is having his finest season yet, averaging career-highs of 12.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists through 18 games. He is shooting 42% from the field and has scored 10 or more in all but six games this season. The Jackson native turned in another great performance in the Tritons' one-point loss to Cal State San Bernardino last Thursday, finishing with a game-high 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Ryan, who currently leads the CCAA in rebounding, also grabbed a team-high seven boards against the Coyotes.
Sophomore guard Tyler McGrath came up big against defending national champion Cal Poly Pomona on Saturday, scoring a career-high 18 points in 26 minutes off the bench. He finished 5-of-12 from the floor, with all five of his field goals coming from behind the three-point arc, to lead all scorers. McGrath hit four triples and scored 15 points in the second half as UCSD rallied from 10 down to take 49-47 lead with four minutes to play. On the season, McGrath is averaging 8.5 points per game on 39% shooting. He leads the Tritons with a total of 26 threes.
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 excellent defensively last week, limiting Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona to just 37.5% and 36% shooting from the field, respectively. The Tritons enter Thursday's contest ranked fourth in the CCAA in scoring defense (61.4) and fifth in field goal percentage defense (.403)... UCSD's struggles have come on the offensive end as the Tritons have shot below 40% from the field in six of their last seven games. The one exception was against CSUSB, when they shot 43.5%. UCSD currently ranks 10th in the conference in scoring offense (63.3) and seventh in field goal percentage (.417)... The Tritons have a record of 5-5 away from home in 2010-11, but they are just 2-4 in true road games. UCSD went 1-2 during a three-game road trip earlier this month...After squaring off with the Seawolves and Lumberjacks, the Tritons will return to La Jolla for four straight beginning with a matchup against San Francisco State on February 3.