Game No. 4
UC San Diego Tritons (2-1) at Academy of Art University Urban Knights (0-3)
Saturday, November 19, 2011 • 2:00 p.m.
Kezar Pavilion (2,500) • San Francisco, Calif.
First Things First
After winning two out of three games at the Disney West Coast Tip-Off Classic Nov. 4-6 to open the season, the UC San Diego men's basketball team will travel to San Francisco to take on Academy of Art University this weekend. The Tritons will square off with the Urban Knights on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Kezar Pavilion, looking to defeat ART U for the second consecutive season.
Tritons Capture Second Straight Disney Classic Crown
UCSD opened the 2011-12 campaign with a bang, defeating Chestnut Hill College (102-74) and Dominican University (78-73) at the Disney West Coast Tip-Off Classic to claim the tournament trophy for the second year in a row. The Tritons lost a 78-68 decision to Western Washington on the second day of the event, but won the tournament nonetheless after finishing with a better point differential than WWU and CHC, which also went 2-1 in three games in Anaheim. The Tritons went 2-1 to win the Disney Classic title in 2010, defeating Lewis University (70-59) and Dixie State (65-57), before falling to Alaska Anchorage (67-52) on the final day. The Tritons' 2-1 record through three games matches the program's best start in 11 seasons at the Division II level.
Hot Shooting Keys Fast Start
The Tritons did a lot of things well in Anaheim, but one thing stood out above everything else: the team's shooting. UCSD shot a combined 52% from the field in its three games at the Disney Classic, finishing better than 56% in its two victories and a respectable 43% in the loss to Western Washington. The Tritons finished at a blistering 59% (33-56) in the convincing 102-74 win over Chestnut Hill and converted 56% (20-36) of their attempts in the triumph over Dominican. UCSD also shot well from the three-point line, sinking 19-of-40 attempts for the tournament, 48%, including a red-hot 61% (11-18) against CHC.
UCSD also got the job done on the boards at the Disney Classic, outrebounding the opposition by a total margin of 119-73. The Tritons won the rebounding battle in all three games during the tournament, finishing +22 (46-24) against Chestnut Hill, +11 (42-31) against Western and +13 (31-18) vs. Dominican. The Tritons are going to have to be an excellent rebounding team to be successful in 2011-12, so their start in that department bodes well going forward.
Hatch Named Disney Classic MVP
Senior center Christian Hatch was named the Disney Classic All-Tournament Team Most Valuable Player after a tremendous performance in the Tritons' three games in Anaheim. Hatch averaged a team-high 20.0 points and 7.3 rebounds for the tournament, leading UCSD to a second straight title. He shot just under 57% from the field, converting 21-of-37 attempts overall, while sinking 18-of-23 at the foul line, 78%. The Henderson, Nev. native was an absolute beast in the Tritons' rout of Chestnut Hill, finishing with a game-high 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting, while also grabbing six boards and draining all six of his free throws. UCSD's top returning scorer and rebounder this season, Hatch was named to the All-CCAA second team after averaging 14.5 points and 6.7 boards in 2010-11.
Be Like Mike
Senior guard Mike Meza also had a big opening weekend for UCSD, averaging 12.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 20.0 minutes off the bench. Meza was dialed in from the three-point line, draining nine of his 11 attempts during the tournament, an outrageous 82%. The Simi Valley native had a huge hand in the Tritons' 28-point victory over Chestnut Hill, finishing with 19 points and three boards in just 18 minutes. He finished 6-of-8 from the field, including 5-of-6 from the three-point line to help UCSD win its second consecutive season opener. Meza averaged 4.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in 19 games after transferring from Moorpark College in 2010-11.
UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • So., 5-11, 165 - Named CCAA Freshman of the Year in 2010-11.
G - Tyler McGrath • Jr., 6-3, 175 - Averaged 11.0 points and 5.0 boards in three games at Disney Classic.
F - Justin Brue • Sr., 6-5, 215 - Shot 50% from the floor in Anaheim, hitting 10-of-20 shots.
F - Ryan Peters • Jr., 6-4, 200 - Grabbed six boards and dished out three assists in win over Chestnut Hill.
C - Christian Hatch • Sr., 6-8, 260 - UCSD's leading scorer in all three games this season.
Scouting the Urban Knights
Academy of Art enters Saturday's matchup with an overall record of 0-3 after dropping an 80-70 home decision to Cal State East Bay on Wednesday night. Sophomore guard William Overton Jr. scored 26 points and grabbed eight boards for the Urban Knights, but it wasn't enough as ART U could not overcome a 10-point halftime deficit. Mark Samuels led all scorers with 28 points for the Pioneers, while Jason Smith scored 22 off the bench... Academy of Art also faced a pair of California Collegiate Athletic Association opponents at the Carl's Jr. Mac Martin Invitational to open the season Nov. 12-13, falling to San Francisco State, 93-61, and host Chico State, 83-36... Overton Jr. is averaging team-highs of 19.3 points and 6.3 rebounds through three games, while junior guard Ameer Shamssud-din is putting up 9.0 points and 2.3 boards. Academy of Art is currently averaging 55.7 points per game, while its opponents are scoring 85.3... The Urban Knights are in their fourth season as a program and compete in the Pacific West Conference.
Head-to-Head with Academy of Art
UCSD is 2-0 all-time against Academy of Art after defeating the Urban Knights 81-61 on Nov. 21 of last season. Justin Brue scored a game-high 18 points and James McCann finished with 16 for the Tritons, who shot 46% for the game and held the Urban Knights to just 35%. UCSD defeated Academy of Art 62-40 at the CCAA-PacWest Shootout on Dec. 20, 2008 in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
UCSD Games to Air on ESPN 1700 in 2011-12
On Tuesday, the UC San Diego Athletics Department announced a partnership with ESPN Radio 1700 that will carry 16 Triton men's basketball games live locally during the 2011-12 season. Beginning with UCSD's home opener against CCAA rival Cal State San Bernardino on Nov. 22, ESPN 1700 will broadcast a total of 12 home games and four road contests this season, marking the first time UCSD basketball will air on terrestrial radio. Craig Elsten, who is in his third season as the voice of Triton basketball during UCSD's online broadcasts, will serve as play-by-play announcer, while Jack Cronin, Executive Producer at XX Sports 1090 and ESPN 1700 in San Diego, will handle the color commentary duties. Click here for more on UCSD's agreement with ESPN 1700.
UCSD Picked to Finish 10th in CCAA Standings
UC San Diego was was selected to finish 10th in the California Collegiate Athletic Association regular season standings, according to the league's annual preseason coaches poll that was released last month. UCSD, which finished 11th in the conference with a 6-16 record last season, received 32 points in the poll. Defending regular season champion Humboldt State was picked to win the 2011-12 CCAA title, receiving nine first place votes and a total of 119 points. Cal State San Bernardino collected 106 points and two first place votes to finish second, while Cal State Dominguez Hills was third after garnering 90 points and the remaining first place vote. Cal Poly Pomona tallied 89 points to finish fourth, followed by Cal State L.A. (77), Cal State Stanislaus (74), Chico State (70), Sonoma State (53) and San Francisco State (47) in fifth through ninth places, respectively.
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