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Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Christian Hatch led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting in Friday's convincing win.
UCSD Rolls to 102-74 Victory Over Chestnut Hill in Disney Classic Opener
Release: Sunday 11/04/2011 
by UCSD
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Senior center Christian Hatch scored a game-high 26 points and senior forward Mike Meza added 19 as the UC San Diego men's basketball team defeated Chestnut Hill College 102-74 in the opening game of the Disney West Coast Tip-Off Classic Friday evening at the Anaheim Convention Center.

UCSD (1-0) was extremely sharp in its season opener, shooting 59% (33-56) from the field and sinking 11-of-18 three-pointers, 61%, to easily turn back CHC (0-1). The Tritons never trailed in the game and led by as many as 38 points late in the second half.

"We shot the ball extremely well tonight and when you score 102 points, you're going to put yourself in a excellent position to win," fifth-year head coach Chris Carlson said. "We did some very good things on the offensive side of the ball, but we weren't as sharp as we would have liked defensively so we'll need to work on that going forward."

Hatch converted 10-of-14 shots from the field to lead four players in double figures for the Tritons, finishing 7-of-9 in the first half. He was a perfect 6-for-6 at the free throw line and also grabbed six rebounds.

Meza also shot the ball well, sinking 6-of-8 from the floor, including 5-of-6 from behind the three-point line, in a very productive 18 minutes off the bench.

Tyler McGrath finished with 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, draining four triples to go with four rebounds and four assists, while Dylan Bohanan finished with 10 points, four boards and two helpers in his first game back after an injury forced him to redshirt the 2010-11 season. Justin Brue, who sat out UCSD's exhibition contests at Utah State and Cal for precautionary reasons, finished with four points and game-highs of eight rebounds and six assists.

Dan Comas scored 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting to pace the Griffins, while Jakeem Bogans put in 15 and Mark DiRugeris Jr. chipped in with 14. CHC shot just 35.5% (22-62) from the field and converted just 2-of-16 on threes.

UCSD jumped all over Chestnut Hill early on, hitting seven of its first nine shots to open the game. McGrath hit a three to give the Tritons a 16-7 advantage with 14:58 remaining in the first half and eight consecutive points from Meza gave UCSD a 24-13 cushion with 12:10 left to play.

The Tritons scored 13 unanswered to push to advantage to 37-17 and three straight threes from Meza, McGrath and MacKenzie McCullough pushed the lead to 46-19 with 5:06 remaining. The Griffins were able to shave four points off the deficit from there as UCSD took a commanding 52-29 edge into the locker room at halftime.

UCSD shot a blistering 68% (19-28) and hit 6-of-8 attempts from the three-point line, 75%, in the first half, while CHC shot just 32% (10-31) and went 0-for-7 on threes over the first 20 minutes. Hatch, Meza and McGrath were a combined 13-for-17 in the opening stanza, 76%.

The Tritons continued to pour it on in the second half, extending their lead to 74-45 on two free throws from Hatch with a little more the 10 minutes left to play. McGrath's fourth three-pointer of the game made it 89-53 with 5:20 on the clock and Colin Porter sank a pair at the line to give UCSD its biggest lead at 91-53 less than a minute later.

UCSD finished with 26 assists assists on 33 field goals for the game and converted 25-of-29 at the free throw line. The Tritons were also dominant on the glass, out-rebounding the Griffins 46-24, and held a decisive 51-20 advantage in bench scoring.

Friday's game marked the first time a UCSD team has scored 100 or more since the 2007-08 squad did it in an 111-102 loss at Cal State L.A.on January 12, 2008,

The Tritons will look to carry the momentum from Friday's big performance into Saturday's matchup with West Region foe Western Washington. UCSD and WWU will clash at 2:30 p.m. on day two of the Disney West Coast Tip-Off Classic.

 

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