HAYWARD, Calif. - Mike Meza
scored a career-high 21 points but it wasn't enough as the UC San Diego men's basketball team dropped an 83-71 decision to host Cal State East Bay on Saturday evening at Pioneer Gym.
Roshun Wynne scored 20 points to lead the Pioneers, who outscored the Tritons 16-5 during a critical four-minute stretch in the second half to pull away. CSUEB shot just 43% from the field, but connected on 10-of-22 from the three-point line and went 23-of-27 at the foul line to hand UCSD its third loss in four games.
Meza finished a career-best 7-of-10 from behind the arc to lead four players in double figures for the Tritons, but his effort went for not as UCSD was unable to slow down the Pioneer offense.
Cal State East Bay improves to 10-14 overall and 8-12 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play, sweeping the season series with UC San Diego. The Pioneers won the first meeting of the year, 80-79, in overtime on January 13 in La Jolla.
UCSD, which was coming off an 80-67 victory over Cal State Monterey Bay on Friday, drops to 10-15 on the year and 6-14 in the CCAA. The Tritons will wrap up the regular season at Humboldt State and Sonoma State next week.
Meza was brilliant in a losing effort for UCSD, finishing with the most threes in a game since Tyler Acevedo also made seven in a win over Cal State Stanislaus in February of the 2008-09 campaign. His performance ranks fifth all-time on the single game list.
James McCann and MacKenzie McCullough scored 15 points apiece for the Tritons, while Christian Hatch finished with 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds. The Tritons shot just under 46% for the game, hitting 22 of their 48 shots from the field. UCSD finished 11-of-25 from downtown, with McCullough sinking 3-of-6 to join Meza in the three-point barrage.
Wynne finished 6-of-16 from the floor, but went 7-of-8 at the free throw line to lead the way for East Bay offensively. He also grabbed nine boards, dished out two assists and finished with three steals.
The Pioneers also got 18 points from Mark Samuels, 14 from Jason Smith and 12 from Jurrell Turner.
Cal State East Bay jumped all over UCSD early, taking a 14-3 lead six minutes in. The Pioneers led 30-17 following a jumper by Vincent Capellino with 6:38 remaining in the period, but the Tritons closed the half on a 17-3 run to take a 34-33 lead into the locker room.
Meza, McCann and McCullough all hit threes during the run as UCSD came storming back.
Unfortunately the Tritons couldn't carry the momentum into the second half as the Pioneers scored 11 of the first 14 points to take a 44-37 advantage with 15:41 remaining.
McCullough hit another three to bring UCSD to within three at 48-45 three and a half minutes later, but CSUEB answered with its decisive run, extending its lead to 64-50 with less than eight minutes to play. The Pioneers sank four treys during the stretch and the Tritons would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
UCSD will have three days off before taking the court against Humboldt State on Wednesday in Arcata. The Tritons will then travel to Rohnert Park to square off with Sonoma State in Friday.