POMONA, Calif. -
Tobias Jahn scored a game-high 15 points and Mitchel Anderson finished with 12 to lead Cal Poly Pomona to a 63-50 win over UC San Diego in a California Collegiate Athletic Association matchup on Thursday evening at Kellogg Gym on the CPP campus.
The defending national champion Broncos shot 49% from the field, including a blistering 62.5% in the first half, to send the Tritons to their fifth loss in the last six games. Pomona outscored UCSD 23-9 over the final 13 minutes of the opening half and UCSD was never able to recover.
The Broncos, who had lost three of their previous five, including a 64-55 setback at Cal State San Bernardino on Tuesday, improve to 15-10 overall and 12-9 in the CCAA. Cal Poly Pomona will likely open the eight-team conference tournament on the road next Tuesday.
UCSD falls to 11-15 overall and 6-14 in conference play. Playing their third road game in a span of seven days, the Triton upset second place Cal State Dominguez Hills last Friday, but have lost to Cal State L.A. and Cal Poly Pomona since. UCSD has dropped six of its last seven away from home overall.
"We didn't play very well in the first half and the game kind of got away from us," head coach Chris Carlson said. "We turned the ball over too many times and they were able to take advantage of our mistakes. You can't make some of the mistakes we made and shoot 30% like we did in the first half and expect to beat a quality opponent like Pomona."
Jahn led three players in double figures for the Broncos, finishing 7-of-9 from the field. He also tallied four rebounds and a pair of blocks. Anderson was 5-of-8 from the floor and added two rebounds, four assists and three steals in 23 minutes off the bench, while Kevin Menner chipped in with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
Freshman point guard James McCann scored 12 points and dished out four assists to lead the Tritons, while junior center Christian Hatch finished with 10 points and five boards. McCann was 4-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-6 from the three-point line, while Hatch was 5-of-11.
The Tritons managed just 35% shooting against the CCAA's second-ranked defense, converting 17 field goals on 49 attempts. UCSD was just 7-of-23 in the opening period, while Pomona converted 15-of-24 shots in the first half.
The Broncos jumped out to an early 8-2 lead after four and a half minutes, but the Tritons came back to tie the game at 10 less than two minutes later. Casey Ryan hit a pair of free throws and McCann drained back-to-back threes to bring UCSD back.
Cal Poly Pomona scored 14 of the next 16 points, however, taking a 24-12 advantage on Anderson's layup with 7:11 remaining in the half. Anderson hit a three and Jahn sank a jumper to give the Broncos their biggest lead at 31-16 with 2:20 left and CPP would take a 33-19 lead into the locker room at the break.
The Broncos maintained a double-digit advantage for most of the second half until Tyler McGrath hit consecutive threes and Justin Brue made two free throws to bring the Tritons to within 55-48 with 1:44 left to play.
That was as close as UCSD would get though, as Menner followed with a jumper and Jahn slammed home a decisive dunk to put Pomona back in front by 11 at 59-48 with 58 seconds to play.
The Tritons outscored the Broncos, 31-30, in the second stanza, but the damage had been done, as the 15-point first half deficit was too much for UCSD to overcome. The Broncos outscored the Tritons 32-16 in the paint, including 16-6 in the opening period.
The Tritons had more turnovers (10) than they did field goals (seven) in the first half.
UCSD will wrap up the season on Friday at third place Cal State San Bernardino. The Coyotes edged the Tritons, 60-59, in the first meeting of the year in January at RIMAC Arena.