Game No. 6
UC San Diego Tritons (3-2, 0-1) at Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros (0-2, 0-1)
Friday, December 2, 2011 • 7:30 p.m.
The Torodome (4,200) • Carson, Calif.
Game No. 7
UC San Diego Tritons at Cal State L.A. Golden Eagles
Saturday, December 3, 2011 • 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles Nest (3,200) • Los Angeles, Calif.
Live Stats/Live Video
First Things First
After suffering a narrow 66-63 double overtime loss to Cal State San Bernardino in its California Collegiate Athletic Association opener last Tuesday, the UC San Diego men's basketball team will look to bounce back against Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State L.A. on the road this weekend. The Tritons will take on the Toros on Friday in Carson, before traveling to Los Angeles to face the Golden Eagle on Saturday. Both contests will tip-off at approximately 7:30 p.m. and air of ESPN Radio 1700 in San Diego. Craig Elsten, who is in his third season as the voice of Triton Basketball, will have the call.
On the Record
UCSD enters Friday's clash with Cal State Dominguez Hills with an overall record of 3-2 and an 0-1 mark in CCAA play following the narrow defeat to Cal State San Bernardino last week. The Tritons entered conference play with a head of steam after winning three of their first four games to open the season, but came up short against the rival Coyotes, losing their CCAA opener for the third year in a row. After dropping three of its first four league games in 2010-11, UCSD will look to pick up a pair of critical road wins this weekend.
Late Run Dooms Tritons Against CSUSB
UCSD gave Cal State San Bernardino all it could handle in both team's CCAA opener last week, but the Coyotes made enough plays down the stretch to escape with a 66-63 double overtime win. UCSD led 63-59 with 2:20 left in the second OT, but CSUSB scored five points at the free throw line and Kwame Alexander converted the winning bucket with 18 seconds remaining to make the difference. The Tritons held a 30-22 halftime lead, but the Coyotes opened the second half on a 17-4 run to take a 39-34 advantage and neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way. CSUSB shot 41% (26-64) from the field, while UCSD finished at a 35% (24-69) clip. The Coyotes held a slim 45-42 rebounding advantage and outscored the Tritons 34-28 in the paint. The loss marked UCSD's fifth consecutive defeat at the hands of Cal State San Bernardino.
Front and Center
Senior center Christian Hatch has been outstanding so far this season, averaging team-highs of 18.8 points and 9.6 rebounds through five games. The Henderson, Nev. native is shooting 48.5% from the field, having converted 32 of his 66 shots from the floor, and 75% at the free throw line, dropping 30-of-40 attempts at the stripe. He had an outstanding performance in the loss to Cal State San Bernardino last week, tallying his second straight double-double with 11 points and a career-high 15 boards in 43 minutes. That came after a 23-point, 11-rebound effort in UCSD's 80-66 win at Academy of Art on Nov. 19. An All-CCAA Second Team selection last season, Hatch has led the Tritons in scoring in four out of five games thus far. He has a total of 15 double-doubles for his career.
You Might Want to Guard Me
Junior guard Tyler McGrath had his best game of the season against Cal State San Bernardino last week, finishing with season-highs of 15 points and seven rebounds in a game-high 44 minutes. The Camarillo, Calif. native converted 5-of-11 shots from the field and sank 3-of-8 from behind the three-point line to lead four players in double figures for the Tritons. He currently ranks second on the team in scoring and third in rebounding, averaging 11.4 points and 5.2 boards, respectively, while shooting an even 50% (18-36) from the floor through UCSD's first five games. With 12 threes made on the year, McGrath is also the Tritons' primary outside threat. He is shooting 44% from downtown.
UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • So., 5-11, 165 - Dished out a season-high nine assists in loss to CSUSB.
G - Tyler McGrath • Jr., 6-3, 175 - Averaging 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in UCSD's last three games.
F - Justin Brue • Sr., 6-5, 215 - Scored season-high 18 points against Academy of Art on Nov. 19.
F - Ryan Peters • Jr., 6-4, 200 - Shooting 70% from the field after hitting 4-of-6 shots against the Coyotes.
C - Christian Hatch • Sr., 6-8, 260 - UCSD's leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 18.8 points and 9.6 boards.
Scouting the Toros
• Cal State Dominguez Hills enters Friday's matchup with an 0-2 record and an 0-1 mark in CCAA play after dropping a 74-68 decision at Division I University of the Pacific on Nov. 21... The Toros faced Cal State L.A. in their season-opener on Nov. 16 and suffered a 73-58 defeat at the hands of the Golden Eagles in Los Angeles... Senior guard Cornell Jenkins is leading the team in scoring through two games, averaging 16.0 points on 44% shooting, while backcourt mate Van Girard II is averaging 10.5 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds... Offensively, CSUDH is putting up 63.0 points per game, while the Toro defense is surrendering 73.5 on the other end... The Toros were tabbed to finish third in the CCAA standings by the league's coaches after posting an overall record of 16-12 and finishing second in the conference at 16-6 in 2010-11.
• UCSD holds a slim 17-15 advantage in the all-time series with Cal State Dominguez Hills after splitting two games with CSUDH in 2010-11... The Toros won the first meeting, 57-49, on Jan. 15 in La Jolla, but the Tritons came out on top in the rematch, claiming a 61-59 victory on Feb. 18 in Carson.
Scouting the Golden Eagles
• Cal State L.A. begins the week with an overall record of 4-0 and a 1-0 tally in CCAA play following a 75-56 victory over Cal Baptist on Saturday... Junior center Carl Hoffman is averaging team-highs of 14.8 points and 8.3 rebounds through the Golden Eagles' first four games, while senior guard Ryan Wetherell is putting 11.0 points and 3.5 assists... As a team, CSULA is scoring 82.8 points per game, while the defense is holding the opposition to just 52.8... Cal State L.A. defeated Cal State Dominguez Hills 73-58 in both team's CCAA opener on Nov. 16... The Golden Eagles outscored the Toros 45-28 in the second half of that contest to pull away... CSULA was picked to finish fifth in the CCAA regular season standings after going 15-13 overall and and placing sixth in the conference at 10-12 a year ago... The Golden Eagles will host Cal State San Bernardino on Friday, before UCSD comes to town on Saturday.
• UCSD leads the all-time series with Cal State L.A. by a narrow 13-11 margin after splitting two games with the Golden Eagles last season... The Tritons won the first meeting, 76-73, in double overtime on Jan. 13 at RIMAC, but the Golden Eagles claimed the rematch, recording a 64-62 victory five weeks later in L.A.
• UCSD is currently averaging 78.2 points per game offensively, a figure that ranks sixth in the CCAA... The Tritons averaged 82.0 points in their first four games of the season before scoring a season-low 63 in the loss to Cal State San Bernardino... UCSD is shooting 47.5% from the field in 2011-12, which also ranks sixth in the conference... The Tritons have shot better than 52% from the field in all three of their victories this season... Last week's setback to CSUSB marked the first time UCSD has been out-rebounded this season...The Tritons enter Friday's contest with a rebounding margin of +11.2... UCSD will take seven days off for final exams following this weekend's contests.... The Tritons will return to the court on Sunday, Dec. 11 for a nonconference matchup with Dixie State at 1:00 p.m. at RIMAC Arena.
UCSD Games to Air on ESPN 1700 In 2011-12
The UC San Diego Athletics Department last month announced a partnership with ESPN Radio 1700 that will carry 16 Triton men's basketball games live locally during the 2011-12 season. 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 in October. 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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