Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Justin Brue (right) and the Tritons gave the Toros all they could handle in the first meeting of the year on January 15 at RIMAC.
UCSD Travels to No. 13 CSUDH, CSULA Looking For Strong Finish
Release: Wednesday 02/16/2011 
The Schedule
Game No. 25
UC San Diego Tritons (10-14, 5-13) at No. 13 Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros (19-3, 15-3)
Friday, February 18, 2011
The Torodome (4,200) • 7:30 pm

Game No. 26
UC San Diego Tritons at Cal State L.A. Golden Eagles
Saturday, February 19, 2011
The Eagles Nest (3,200) • 7:30 pm

Live Audio and Video
Both of the Tritons' road games this week will be streamed live. Click here to access the Toro Sports Network and watch the live broadcast against Cal State Dominguez Hills. The matchup against Cal State L.A. can be viewed through Golden Eagles Live here.

Live Stats
All CCAA basketball games are available via Live Stats, as well. To follow the action against the Toros on Friday, click here. Live stats for Saturday's tilt with the Golden Eagles are are available by clicking here.

First Things First

Following a pair of tough losses to Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State in their final two home games, the UC San Diego men’s basketball team will hit the road for four straight to wrap up the 2010-11 regular season. The Tritons will begin the four-game swing against second place and 13th-ranked Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson on Friday, before traveling to Los Angeles for a matchup with Cal State L.A. on Saturday. Both games will tip at approximately 7:30 p.m. after the women’s contests.

For the Record
UCSD heads to Cal State Dominguez Hills with an overall record of 10-14 and a 5-13 mark in California Collegiate Athletic Association play after losing to Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State last week. The Tritons were on the wrong end of a 71-66 decision with the Warriors on Thursday and then suffered another narrow defeat two nights later, falling to the Wildcats by a final margin of 60-56. UCSD has lost three in a row and eight of its last nine overall and currently sits in 11th place in the conference standings. Head coach Chris Carlson’s squad is still in contention for a spot in next month’s CCAA Tournament, but the Tritons are currently three games out of eighth place with just four games remaining.  

Game of Inches
The Tritons have played several close games in conference this season, with a number of their contests coming down to the wire over the last several weeks. After losing to Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State by margins of five and four points, respectively, UCSD dropped to just 2-6 in games decided by five points or less in 2010-11. Taking things one step further, the Tritons are just 1-4 in contests decided by three points or less. If the Tritons had found a way to win half of those six games that ended in losses, they would be sitting in a tie for sixth place in the league standings with a CCAA Tournament berth well in reach.

Scouting the Toros and Golden Eagles

• No. 13 Cal State Dominguez Hills enters Friday’s matchup with an overall record of 19-3 and a 15-3 mark in the CCAA after taking down Cal State Monterey Bay and San Francisco State at home last week. The Toros edged the Otters by a 67-65 final margin on Friday and then pulled out a 72-68 victory over the Gators the following night. CSUDH is currently in second place in the league standings, just one game back of league leading Humboldt State. Senior point guard Marcquintice Davis leads the Toros in several categories, including points (12.5), assists (4.1) and three-pointers made (32), while fellow senior Michael Cox is putting up 12.2 points and a team-high 6.7 rebounds to lead the Dominguez frontcourt. The Toros feature the CCAA’s top-ranked ranked defense, holding the opposition to just 56.5 points per game, while the offense ranks ninth, putting up 64.3.

• After taking on Cal State Dominguez Hills on Friday, the Tritons will try to spoil Cal State L.A.’s Senior Night on Saturday. The Golden Eagles begin the week at 12-10 overall and 8-10 in conference play after losing to both San Francisco State (73-55) and Cal State Monterey Bay (73-69) at home last weekend. The Golden Eagles have lost four straight and seven of their last eight overall. Senior guard Franklin Session is averaging a team-high 16.4 points to go with 7.5 boards and 2.5 assists per game, while senior forward David Norris is putting up 12.7 points and leads the squad in rebounding at 8.9 per night. Cal State L.A. currently ranks eighth in the conference in scoring offense at 64.9 points per game, while the Golden Eagle defense is allowing 61.9, a figure that ranks third.

UCSD holds a narrow 16-15 advantage in the all-time series with Cal State Dominguez Hills and also claims a small 13-10 head-to-head edge over Cal State L.A. The Tritons knocked off the Golden Eagles, 76-73, in double overtime in the first meeting of the year on January 13, but lost a 57-49 decision in a defensive battle with the Toros two nights later. Christian Hatch scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the thrilling home win over Cal State L.A.

UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • Fr., 5-10, 165 - Leads UCSD dishing out 3.0 assists per game.
G - Justin Brue • So., 6-4, 205 - Finished with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting in loss to Chico State.
G - Casey Ryan • Sr., 6-4, 195 - CCAA rebounding leader at 9.6 boards per game.
F - Ryan Peters • So., 6-3, 200 - Shooting 75% from the field over the last five games.
C - Christian Hatch • Jr., 6-8, 245 - Scored a career-best 28 points in loss to Cal State Stanislaus last week.

Front and Center
Junior center Christian Hatch has put together a tremendous season in 2010-11 and enters Friday’s matchup with Cal State Dominguez Hills averaging a team-high 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. He is shooting just over 51% from the field, which also leads the squad, and has a team-high nine doubles-doubles on the year. Hatch has developed into one of the best players in the CCAA, ranking sixth in the conference in both scoring and rebounding. The Henderson, Nev. native was a beast last week, averaging 22.0 points on 56% shooting, while hauling in 7.5 rebounds in UCSD’s losses to Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State. He scored a career-high 28 points against the Warriors on Thursday and then tallied 16 points and 11 boards against the Wildcats on Saturday. He finished 11-for-16 in the game against Stanislaus, also setting a new career mark for field goals made.

Senior Citizen
Senior guard Casey Ryan is having his finest season yet, averaging career-highs of 12.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists in his final campaign with the Tritons. The CCAA’s leading rebounder, Ryan is shooting 43% from the field and has scored in double figures 16 times this season. He has recorded a total of seven doubles-doubles in 2010-11, a figure that ranks second behind only Christian Hatch’s nine. After a rough outing against Cal State Stanislaus last Thursday, the Jackson native bounced back with a strong performance against Chico State two nights later, finishing with 16 points, seven boards and four assists in 33 minutes on Senior Night. He was 7-of-11 from the floor and hit both of his free throws to reach double figures for the fourth time in the past five games.

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.

Quick Hits
The Tritons currently rank 10th in the CCAA in scoring offense at 63.0 points per game, while the defense ranks fifth, holding the opposition to 64.2… UCSD is averaging 71.5 points per game in the team’s 10 wins and just 56.9 points in the 14 losses…The Tritons have a rebounding margin of +7.0 this season, which ranks second in the conference behind only Cal State Dominguez Hills at +9.8… UCSD will be seeking its first road win since January 3 this weekend. The Tritons have lost four straight away from home and enter Friday’s tilt with the Toros at just 2-6 on the road this season. The upcoming four-game road trip is UCSD’s longest of the season… After this weekend’s matchups with Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State L.A., UCSD will conclude the 2010-11 regular season at Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State San Bernardino February 24-25. UCSD lost to both squads by a combined three points in La Jolla in January.
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