Game No. 27
UC San Diego Tritons (11-15, 6-14) at Cal Poly Pomona Broncos (14-10, 11-9)
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Kellogg Gym (5,200) • 7:30 pm
Game No. 28
UC San Diego Tritons at Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes
Friday, February 25, 2011
Cousoullis Arena (4,140) • 7:30 pm
Live Audio and Video
Both of the Tritons' road games this week will be streamed live. Click here to access the Broncos Fan Zone and watch the live broadcast against Cal Poly Pomona. The matchup against Cal State San Bernardino can be viewed through the Coyotes Network here.
All CCAA basketball games are available via Live Stats, as well. To follow the action against the Broncos on Thursday, click here. Live stats for Friday's tilt with the Coyotes are are available by clicking here.
First Things First
After earning a road split at Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State L.A. over the weekend, the UC San Diego men's basketball team will look to pick up a pair of wins to close out the season this week. UCSD will travel to Cal Poly Pomona to square off with the defending national champion Broncos on Thursday, before facing the Coyotes of Cal State San Bernardino on Friday. As usual, both games will tip at approximately 7:30 p.m. after the women's contests.
For the Record
UCSD enters the final week of the regular season with an overall record of 11-15 and a 6-14 mark in California Collegiate Athletic Association play after going 1-1 last week. The Tritons knocked off second place Cal State Dominguez Hills by a slim 61-59 margin on Friday to begin the week, but couldn't make an 11-point second half lead hold up in a 64-62 defeat at Cal State L.A. the following night. UCSD snapped a three-game losing streak with the win over the Toros, but the Tritons have dropped eight of their last 10 overall and fell out of contention for a CCAA Tournament berth with the loss to the Golden Eagles.
Tritons Use Big Second Half to Upset Toros
While their record may not show it, the Tritons have proven that they can play with any team in the CCAA this season and Friday's win over No. 13 Cal State Dominguez Hills was the best example yet. Trailing by 10 with 12:35 remaining, UCSD came roaring back to take the lead for good at 60-58 with 1:05 left following five consecutive points from James McCann. The Triton defense took over from there, limiting the Toros to one point in three possessions in the final minute to seal the 61-59 victory. UCSD shot 48% in the second half and outscored CSUDH 34-29 in the period. Justin Brue scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed five boards to lead the Tritons to their biggest win of the season.
Scouting the Broncos and Coyotes
• Cal Poly Pomona enters Friday's clash with an overall record of 14-10 and an 11-9 mark in the CCAA after suffering a 64-55 loss to Cal State San Bernardino on the road on Tuesday night. The defending champion Broncos have had an up-and-down season in 2010-11 and currently sit in fifth place in the conference standings after dropping three of their last five. Senior forward Kevin Menner is the team's leading scorer at 12.6 points per game on 56% shooting, while junior forward Dwayne Fells is putting up 11.2 points, a team-high 6.0 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Cal Poly Pomona ranks seventh in the CCAA in scoring offense at 65.2 points per game, while the Bronco defense ranks second, holding the opposition to just 58.2.
• After squaring off with Cal Poly Pomona on Thursday, the Tritons will take on third place Cal State San Bernardino on Friday, looking to sour the Coyotes' Senior Night festivities. CSUSB enters the weekend at 15-9 overall and 13-7 in the CCAA after recording the nine-point victory over rival Cal Poly Pomona on Tuesday. Senior point guard Corey Caston is averaging a team-high 11.2 points per game for the Coyotes, who have won three straight and five of their last six overall. Caston is also the team leader in assists, dishing out 4.8 per night. Junior forward Theron Laudermill II is another key member of San Bernardino's attack, averaging 9.7 points and 5.5 rebounds through 24 games. He scored 15 points in Tuesday's win. CSUSB currently ranks fourth in the conference offensively at 71.1 points per game, while the defense is allowing 65.5, a figure that ranks seventh.
UCSD trails the all-time series with Cal Poly Pomona, 18-8, and has won just 15 of 39 previous meetings with Cal State San Bernardino. The Tritons lost to both squads by a combined three points earlier this season, dropping a 60-59 decision to the Coyotes on January 20 and then coming up short against the Broncos, 54-52, two nights later. UCSD hasn't defeated Cal Poly Pomona since the CCAA Tournament Championship game at the end of the 2007-08 season and the Tritons' last win over Cal State San Bernardino came on February 14, 2009.
UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • Fr., 5-10, 165 - Leads UCSD with 76 assists in 2010-11.
G - Justin Brue • So., 6-4, 205 - Finished with 17 points and five boards in win over No. 13 Cal State Dominguez Hills.
G - Casey Ryan • Sr., 6-4, 195 - CCAA rebounding leader at 9.8 boards per game.
F - Ryan Peters • So., 6-3, 200 - Shooting 53% from the field over the last seven games.
C - Christian Hatch • Jr., 6-8, 245 - Has a total of nine double-doubles on the season.
Front and Center
Junior center Christian Hatch has put together a tremendous season in 2010-11 and enters Thursday's matchup with Cal Poly Pomona averaging a team-high 14.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. He is shooting just over 50% 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 seventh in the conference in scoring and sixth in rebounding. After scoring just eight points in the win over Cal State Dominguez Hills on Friday, the Henderson, Nev. native bounced back with 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting in the loss to Cal State L.A.
Senior guard Casey Ryan is having his finest season yet, averaging career-highs of 12.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 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 17 times this season. He has recorded a total of eight doubles-doubles in 2010-11, with the latest coming in the Tritons' two-point loss to Cal State L.A. last week. He finished with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting and corralled a game-high 15 rebounds in 30 minutes of play.
Just Brue It
Sophomore forward Justin Brue was tremendous last week, finishing with 17 points in both games and shooting a combined 61% (14-23) from the floor. He played a huge role in UCSD's come-from-behind win over Cal State Dominguez Hills, scoring 11 points in the second half, including five straight at one point, as the Tritons came back from 10 down to win. On the season, Brue is averaging 9.2 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. He is shooting 42% from the field and has scored in double figures on 11 occasions.
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.
The Tritons currently rank 10th in the CCAA in scoring offense at 62.9 points per game, while the defense ranks fifth, holding the opposition to 64.0... UCSD is averaging 70.5 points per game in the team's 11 wins and just 57.3 points in the 15 losses... After playing in back-to-back one possession games last weekend, the Tritons are now 3-7 in games decided by five points or less and just 2-5 in games decided by three points or less... UCSD shot a combined 45% (43-96) against two of the CCAA's top three defenses in Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State L.A. last week. The Tritons are shooting 41% from the field overall this season, which ranks 10th in the conference... Friday's win over Dominguez snapped a four-game road losing streak for UCSD. The Tritons hadn't won away from home since defeating Cal State East Bay, 64-53, on January 3. UCSD is just 3-7 in true road games this season, but holds a 3-1 mark in neutral site contests.