Game No. 5
UC San Diego Tritons (3-1) vs. Cal State San Bernardino Coyotes (1-0)
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 • 7:00 p.m.
RIMAC Arena (5,000) • La Jolla, Calif.
First Things First
After earning an 80-66 road victory over Academy of Art University on Saturday, the UC San Diego men's basketball team returns to La Jolla to host Cal State San Bernardino in its 2011-12 California Collegiate Athletic Association opener on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday's contest will mark UCSD's first regular season appearance at RIMAC Arena, where the Tritons went 5-7 in 2010-11.
On the Record
UCSD enters Tuesday's clash with Cal State San Bernardino with an overall record of 3-1 after defeating Academy of Art over the weekend. The Tritons opened the season with a bang, claiming a second consecutive Disney West Coast Tip-Off Classic title after winning two out of three games in Anaheim Nov. 4-6. UCSD defeated Chestnut Hill College (102-74) and Dominican University (78-73), but lost a 78-68 decision to Western Washington during the three-day event. The Tritons have now started 3-1 two years in a row, matching the program's best record through four games in 11 seasons at the Division II level. UCSD won five of its first six games in 2010-11.
Tritons Take Care of Business Against Academy of Art
UCSD turned in a complete performance on Saturday, cruising to an 80-66 triumph over Academy of Art at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco. The Tritons were in control for most of the game and used a decisive 12-0 second half run to turn a 43-39 deficit into a 51-43 lead with 12 minutes left to play. UCSD's lead ballooned to 70-55 with 5:24 left on the clock and the Urban Knights got no closer than 10 the rest of the way. The Tritons shot 52% (23-44) from the field and converted 5-of-9 from the three-point line, 56%, for the game. UCSD held a decisive 34-21 advantage on the glass and finished +19 at the free throw line. Academy of Art shot 48% (25-52) for the game.
The Tritons have shot the ball very well so far in 2011-12. After shooting 52.3% from the field on Saturday, UCSD is now shooting an even 52% (102-196) overall entering Tuesday's matchup with Cal State San Bernardino. The Tritons have shot better than 52% in all three of their victories, including a season-high 59% (33-56) in the season-opening win over Chestnut Hill on Nov. 4. UCSD is also shooting well from the three-point line so far this season, draining 49% (24-49) of its attempts from behind the arc. After shooting just 41% from the field as a team in 2010-11, the Tritons are off to a much better start in that department this season.
UCSD is getting the job done on the boards as well, outrebounding the opposition 153-94 through four games. The Tritons have won the rebounding battle in every game so far in 2011-12, finishing +11 or better in all four contests. UCSD recorded an average rebounding margin of +15.3 in its three games at the Disney Classic and finished +13 in the win over Academy of Art on Saturday. The Tritons are going to have to be an excellent rebounding team to be successful in 2011-12, so their performance on the boards so far bodes extremely well.
Hatch Continues Hot Start
Senior center Christian Hatch had another monster game on Saturday, finishing with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead UCSD past Academy of Art. He converted 7-of-15 shots from the field and sank 9-of-13 at the free throw line en route to his second 20-point effort in four games this season. Hatch had a big opening weekend for the Tritons as well, averaging 20.0 points and 7.3 rebounds at the Disney West Coast Tip-Off Classic. He shot just under 57% (21-37) from the field and 18-of-23 at the foul line, earning tournament Most Valuable Player honors for his performance. The Henderson, Nev. native enters Tuesday's contest averaging team-highs of 20.8 points and 8.3 rebounds, while shooting 54% (28-52) from the field. Hatch has led the Tritons in scoring in all four of their games this season.
Just Brue It
Junior forward Justin Brue had a big game as well on Saturday, finishing with a season-high 18 points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks in the win over Academy of Art. The Hayward, Calif. native hit 4-of-6 shots from the field and converted 10 of his 13 free throws to help the Tritons down the Urban Knights for the second year in a row. Brue currently ranks third on the team in scoring and second in rebounding, averaging 11.5 points and 6.5 boards per game. He is shooting 54% from the field.
UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • So., 5-11, 165 - Tallied 15 points, four rebounds and three assists against Academy of Art.
G - Tyler McGrath • Jr., 6-3, 175 - Shooting 47% from the three-point line through four games this season.
F - Justin Brue • Sr., 6-5, 215 - Scored season-high 18 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the win over the Urban Knights.
F - Ryan Peters • Jr., 6-4, 200 - Grabbed six boards and dished out three assists against Chestnut Hill on Nov. 4.
C - Christian Hatch • Sr., 6-8, 260 - UCSD's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 20.8 points and 8.3 boards, respectively.
Scouting the Coyotes
Cal State San Bernardino enters Tuesday's matchup with a 1-0 record after defeating Westmont College, 70-66, in its season-opener on Saturday, Nov. 12. Senior forward Theron Laudermill scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Coyotes, while sophomore guard Juan Martinez finished with 14 points off the bench and Tre' Brewer added 12. CSUSB shot just 40% (22-48) from the field, but held a 37-22 advantage on the glass and finished +13 at the free throw line in the win... The Coyotes were picked to finish second in the league standings this season after posting an overall record of 17-10 and placing third in the CCAA at 15-7 in 2010-11.
UCSD trails the all-time series with Cal State San Bernardino 25-15 after dropping both contests with the Coyotes last season. CSUSB escaped RIMAC Arena with a narrow 60-59 win in the first meeting of the year on Jan. 20, before defeating the Tritons, 76-72, in the regular season finale on Feb. 25 in San Bernardino. UCSD's last win over CSUSB came on February 14, 2009, a 69-63 victory in La Jolla.
UCSD Games to Air on ESPN 1700 In 2011-12
The UC San Diego Athletics Department recently 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 Tuesday's clash with Cal State San Bernardino, 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, 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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