POMONA, Calif. -
Mitchel Anderson finished with game-highs of 25 points and eight rebounds to lead Cal Poly Pomona to a 58-50 victory over UC San Diego in a California Collegiate Athletic Association matchup on Thursday evening at Kellogg Gym on the CPP campus.
UCSD cut a 14-point deficit down to four with 1:26 remaining, but the Broncos scored the final four points of the game to hold on for the win and send the Tritons to their second straight defeat.
Cal Poly Pomona improves to 12-4 overall and 9-4 in the CCAA with the victory, holding onto a share of first place in the conference standings. The Broncos shot a blistering 59.5% (22-37) from the field, including 61% in the final period.
UC San Diego, which was playing without injured starters Christian Hatch and Ryan Peters, falls to 7-11 overall and 3-10 in the CCAA with the loss. The Tritons will look to bounce back against San Francisco State on Saturday evening at the Swamp.
Tyler McGrath scored 17 points to lead the way for the Tritons, who hung with the league-leading Broncos despite shooting a season-low 28% (13-47) from the floor. The junior guard finished 3-of-8 from the field with a pair of threes and sank all nine of his free throws to finish in double figures for the ninth time this season. He added six rebounds and two assists.
James McCann finished with 15 points, three rebounds and four assists, while MacKenzie McCullough chipped in with nine points and three boards in his third straight start.
"I am very proud of our effort tonight," UCSD head coach Chris Carlson said. "We didn't shoot it well all night, but we gave ourselves chances to win late. You have to credit Pomona. They are a good team and make things very tough on you. That was certainly the case this evening."
Anderson was definitely the story for Pomona as the junior guard hit 9-of-13 from the field, including 2-of-5 from behind the arc, and went 5-for-5 at the free throw line. He scored 15 of his 25 points in the first period to stake the Broncos to a 33-26 halftime lead.
Terrence Drisdom added 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting for Pomona, while DeRonn Scott chipped in with eight off the bench. The Broncos outscored the Tritons 22-10 in the paint and held a 13-2 edge in bench scoring.
UCSD trailed 48-34 with 12:38 remaining in the second half, but Justin Brue hit a jumper and McCann drilled a three to bring the Tritons to within nine. UCSD kept chipping away at the lead and scored eight straight at one point to pull within five at 52-47 with 2:20 left. McGrath hit a midrange jumper and sank a pair of free throws to fuel the rally.
After Anderson made two at the line to push the deficit back to seven, McCann hit his second triple of the game to bring the Tritons to within 54-50 with 86 seconds to play. Unfortunately, that was as close as they would get as UCSD missed its final five shots and the Broncos hit four free throws to ice the victory.
Brue, McGrath and McCann all had decent looks at threes to give the Tritons a chance in the waning moments, but they couldn't convert.
UCSD held an early 5-3 lead, but Pomona answered with a 9-0 run and led by as many as 13 in the first half. The Tritons scored eight straight bridging the end of the first half and the beginning of the second to pull within 33-29, but the Broncos answered with a 15-5 run to take their biggest lead of the game.
Tip-off for UCSD's matchup with San Francisco State is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Tritons defeated the Gators by a final margin of 72-50 in the first meeting of the year in December in La Jolla.