Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Sonoma State had it going on the offensive end all evening, finishing at 51% shooting to deal UCSD its worst defeat of the season.
The Seawolves, who had lost four of their previous five before Thursday's win, improve to 7-10 overall and 5-8 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play. Sonoma State evened the season series with UCSD, which won the first meeting of the year, 73-64, on December 30 in La Jolla.
The Tritons drop to 9-10 overall to fall below the .500 mark for the first time this season. Mired in a season-worst four-game losing streak, UCSD is now 4-9 in CCAA play with nine games remaining. The Tritons are just 1-6 in seven league games on the road this season.
Washington finished 6-of-9 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line to pace the hot shooting Seawolves. James Sandoval tallied 16 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Steven Pratt had 13 points, five boards and five assists. Will Oslem added 12 points off the bench and Matthew French chipped in with 10.
Christian Hatch finished with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Tritons, but it came on a night when he got little help. The junior center was 7-of-19 from the floor to lead all scorers. Casey Ryan finished with nine points, six boards and two assists, while James McCann tallied eight points, four rebounds and a pair of dimes.
Sonoma State showed why it has the CCAA's second-ranked offense, as the Seawolves shot 52% in the opening half and 50% in the second. After taking a 38-29 halftime lead, SSU poured it on in the second period, outscoring UCSD 45-31.
The Seawolves earned a total of 35 free throws in the game - the most by a Triton opponent this season - and took full advantage, converting 32. UCSD was 20-of-27 at the foul line. The Tritons held a 30-23 rebounding edge in the game, but just about every other stat favored the home team, including a decisive 22-9 advantage in points off turnovers.
SSU was in control from the outset, taking an early 9-3 lead on a three-point play by Sandoval. The Tritons trimmed the deficit to just one at 22-21 following a bucket free throw from Ryan with seven minutes remaining, but the Seawolves answered with a 8-1 run over the next 1:27 to push their advantage to eight, 30-22.
Sonoma would lead by as many as 10 (36-26), before taking a nine-point advantage into the locker room at the break.
Justin Brue opened the second half with a jumper for UCSD, but the home team scored the next six points to lead by 13 at 44-31 with 15:25 left to play.
Another 7-0 run would lead to a 57-36 Seawolf advantage and a pair of free throws by Ash Arnott gave Sonoma its biggest lead at 83-59 with 35 seconds left.
Hatch has a total of seven double-doubles this season, with five of those coming in the last eight games.
Next up for the Tritons is Humboldt State and the conference's top offense on Saturday night. Tipoff is scheduled for approximately 7:30 p.m. at Lumberjack Arena in Arcata.