LA JOLLA, Calif. -
Davion Berry scored a game-high 34 points to lead visiting Cal State Monterey Bay to 70-60 come-from-behind victory over UC San Diego on Saturday evening at RIMAC Arena.
Berry, the California Collegiate Athletic Association's leading scorer, put in 23 second-half points as the Otters came back from 11 down to sour UCSD's Spirit Night festivities and hand the Tritons their sixth loss in seven games.
After shooting just 23% in the opening period, Monterey Bay caught fire in the second half, shooting 48% from the field and outscoring UCSD 47-29. CSUMB improves to 8-12 overall and 6-10 in the CCAA with the win, while UCSD falls to 10-12 and 5-11 in conference play.
"We had a great effort out there tonight," head coach Chris Carlson said. "I thought the crowd really helped us too and we're really excited to have that type of crowd here on Spirit Night. We did a lot of really good things tonight, we just ran into a buzz saw in Davion Berry. He's a great player and he made shots late and he really put us on our heels."
With a raucous crowd of well over 3,800 on hand, the Tritons led by as many as 12 in the first half, but Berry nearly outscored UCSD by himself after halftime. He finished 10-of-22 from the field, converting 8-of-12 shots in the second stanza to fuel the Otters' comeback. He was 3-of-5 from the three-point line and dropped 11-of-12 at the free throw line.
Brandon Ward was instrumental in CSUMB's victory as well scoring 10 of his 14 points in the second period. Berry and Ward combined to score 48 of the Otters' 70 points in the game.
Christian Hatch tallied his eighth double-double of the season for UCSD, finishing with 20 points and 14 rebounds. He was 8-of-20 from the floor. Casey Ryan finished a rebound shy of a double-double himself, tallying 19 points and nine boards.
Both teams shot a touch over 36% for the game, but CSUMB was plus-nine from the three-point line and converted 18 free throws to UCSD's seven. The Tritons won the rebounding battle, 49-41, and hauled down a total of 19 boards on the offensive end.
UCSD led 36-25 following a layup by James McCann two minutes into the second half, but Derrick Anderson got to the rim for CSUMB and Berry followed with three straight baskets to bring the Otters to within three with 15 minutes remaining.
The Tritons answered with seven straight to push the lead back to 10 at 43-33, but Monterey Bay scored 12 of the next 14 points over the next five minutes to take a 48-45 lead with 8:09 left to play.
Hatch followed with a huge three-point play on UCSD's next trip to tie it, but CSUMB took over from there, as Berry scored the next eight points for the Otters - including two huge threes - to put the visitors in front, 56-50 with 4:55 remaining.
Ward hit a triple two minutes later to put Monterey Bay up by nine and Berry hit two free throws to give the Otters their biggest lead at 63-52.
UCSD returns to the court on Thursday when Cal State Stanislaus pays a visit to RIMAC Arena. The Tritons will then on Chico State next Saturday in their final home appearance of the season.