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Photo by: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios
Justin Brue and the Tritons are 5-0 when they shoot better than 50% from the field this season.
Tritons Look to Gain Ground on the Road This Week
Release: Thursday 01/05/2012 
by UCSD

The Schedule
Game No. 12
UC San Diego Tritons (5-6, 1-5) at Cal State Stanislaus Warriors (7-3, 3-3)
Friday, January 6, 2012 • 7:30 p.m.
Fitzpatrick Arena (2,000) • Turlock, Calif.
Live Stats
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Game No. 13
UC San Diego Tritons at Chico State Wildcats
Saturday, January 7, 2012 • 7:30 p.m.
Acker Gymnasium (2,143) • Chico, Calif.
Live Stats
Listen Live

First Things First
After splitting a pair of home games with San Francisco State and No. 8 Cal Poly Pomona, the UC San Diego men’s basketball team will look to gain ground in the California Collegiate Athletic Association standings on the road this week. The Tritons will travel to Turlock to face Cal State Stanislaus on Friday evening, before heading to Chico for a matchup with Chico State on Saturday. Both games are slated to tip-off at 7:30 p.m. or immediately following the women’s contests.

On the Record
UCSD enters Friday’s clash with Cal State Stanislaus with an overall record of 5-6 and a 1-5 mark in CCAA play after going 1-1 in two games last week. The Tritons defeated San Francisco State, 72-50, to earn their first conference victory of the season on Thursday, but couldn’t make it two in a row on Friday, suffering a 66-52 setback at the hands of league-leading Cal Poly Pomona. The Tritons, who have dropped five of their last seven and currently sit in 11th place in the CCAA standings, will now look to get things turned around as the conference schedule picks up in January. Head coach Chris Carlson’s squad has a 3-4 record in seven games away from home in 2011-12, going 1-3 in true road games and 2-1 in neutral site contests.

Tritons Dominate Gators for First CCAA Win
UCSD registered its first CCAA victory in dominating fashion last week, dispatching San Francisco State by a final margin of 72-50 on Thursday evening at RIMAC Arena. The Tritons scored the first nine points of the game and never looked back, leading by as many as 30 late in the second half. UCSD shot 51% (23-45) from the field and converted 8-of-13 from the three-point line, while holding SFSU to just 40% (18-45) shooting on the other end. Mike Meza led all scorers with 19 points off the bench for UCSD, while Christian Hatch finished with 12. The Tritons held a commanding 35-22 advantage on the glass and outscored the Gators 26-14 in the paint.  

Cause and Effect
UCSD is having a Jekyll and Hyde type of season in one critical area: shooting percentage. With the victory over San Francisco State, the Tritons improved to 5-0 when they shoot better than 50% from the field this season. Conversely, UCSD shot just 38% in the loss to Cal Poly Pomona, dropping the team’s record to 0-6 when they shoot less than 50% from the field. UCSD is averaging 82.6 points on 57% shooting in its five victories this season, but putting up just 56.7 points on 39% shooting in its six losses. If the Tritons can find a way to shoot the ball more consistently, the wins will certainly follow.

Three’s a Crowd
The Tritons have been shooting the ball well from the three-point line lately, averaging just under seven triples over their previous four games. UCSD was dialed in from behind the arc against San Francisco State last week, hitting 8-of-13 from downtown, a season-best 61.5%. The Tritons also hit eight threes in the 81-67 win over Dixie State on Dec. 11 and sank a season-high 11 threes in their season-opening victory over Chestnut Hill College back on Nov. 4. UCSD currently leads the CCAA in three-point field goal percentage at 39.7% and ranks fifth in threes made with 62 through 11 games.

UCSD Probable Starters - Notes
G - James McCann • So., 5-11, 165 - Tallied seven points and dished out five assists in loss to Cal Poly Pomona.
G - Tyler McGrath • Jr., 6-3, 175 - Shooting 41% from the three-point line through 11 games.  
F - Justin Brue • Sr., 6-5, 215 - Ranks second on the team bringing down 5.4 rebounds per game.
F - Ryan Peters • Jr., 6-4, 200 - Hit 5-of-7 attempts from the field last week, 71%.
C - Christian Hatch • Sr., 6-8, 260 - Leads UCSD in both scoring and rebounding this season.

Leading Man
Senior center Christian Hatch is putting together an outstanding season for the Tritons, averaging team-highs of 14.8 points and 7.3 rebounds through 11 games. The Henderson, Nev. native is shooting 54.5% from the field and 70.5% at the free throw line. He has scored in double figures a total of eight times this season and has tallied three double-doubles on the year, including an impressive 20-point, 10-rebound performance against Cal State San Bernardino on Dec. 19. Hatch had a big hand in UCSD’s win over San Francisco State last Thursday, finishing with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He tallied eight points and four rebounds in the loss to Cal Poly Pomona the following evening.
 
Be Like Mike
Senior forward Mike Meza had another big game last week, finishing with a game-high 19 points in UCSD’s 72-50 win over San Francisco State. The Simi Valley, Calif. native had a brilliant shooting performance, converting 6-of-9 shots overall and 5-of-6 from the three-point line in just 22 minutes off the bench. He tied his career scoring mark with the performance, having also put in 19 in the Tritons’ season-opener against Chestnut Hill. Meza, who also finished with six points, four rebounds and two assists the Tritons’ loss to Cal Poly Pomona, was named the ucsdtritons.com Male Athlete of the Week on Monday for his efforts. For the season, Meza is averaging 9.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 18.6 minutes per game. He is shooting a team-high 57% from the field and 67% from downtown.

Scouting the Warriors
Cal State Stanislaus enters Friday’s clash with an overall record of 7-3 and a 3-3 mark in CCAA play after dropping a 63-59 decision at Chico State on Monday night… Senior forward Reggie Jones is a hand full in the post, averaging team-highs of 19.0 points and 6.4 rebounds through the Warriors’ first 10 games… He leads the CCAA in scoring and ranks ninth in rebounding… As a team, Stanislaus ranks third in the league averaging 75.8 points per game offensively, while the defense is allowing 70.0, a figure that ranks seventh… UCSD holds a narrow 16-15 advantage in the all-time series with Cal State Stanislaus after losing both matchups with the Warriors in 2010-11… The Tritons were on the wrong end of a 57-55 decision on Jan. 8 in Turlock, before falling 71-66 at RIMAC a month later.

Scouting the Wildcats
Chico State enters the weekend with an overall record of 9-3 and a 3-3 tally in conference play following its win over Cal State Stanislaus earlier this week… Sophomore guard Sean Park leads three players averaging double figures for the Wildcats at 11.3 points per game… Sophomore forward Amir Carraway is putting up 10.8 points and grabbing a team-high 6.0 rebounds per night… Chico State is averaging 70.5 points per game offensively, a number that ranks sixth in the CCAA, while the defense has surrendered just 58.1, third-best in the league… The Tritons trail the all-time series with the Wildcats 14-10 after dropping both meetings with Chico last season… The Wildcats posted a 68-55 home victory on Jan. 7 and then claimed a 60-56 win in La Jolla on Feb. 12… Chico State will square off with Cal State San Bernardino on Friday before entertaining UCSD on Saturday.

Quick Hits
UCSD currently ranks ninth in the CCAA in scoring offense, averaging 68.5 points per game… Defensively, the Tritons rank sixth, holding their opponents to 65.7… UCSD held San Francisco State to just 50 points in its victory last week, the second-lowest total by an opponent this season… The Tritons have shot better than 50% from the field in back-to-back games just once this season, doing so in consecutive wins over Dominican and Academy of Art in November… After facing Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State, UCSD will come home for four straight beginning with matchups against Cal State East Bay and Cal State Monterey Bay Jan. 13-14.

UCSD Games to Air on ESPN 1700 In 2011-12
In November, 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. 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, 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.

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.

Socially Conscious
Now there are now more ways than ever to follow the Tritons. Of course, you've always got ucsdtritons.com at your disposal, but our social media scene is growing by the hour. Get instant updates on UCSD Athletics on Twitter @UCSDtritons and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/UCSDtritons. For a more visually appealing approach, watch us on YouTube at youtube.com/ucsdathletics. For all things men's basketball, be sure to follow Coach Carlson @UCSD_Basketball.

 

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