SAINT GEORGE, Utah - Tyler McGrath exploded for a career-high 33 points to lead the UC San Diego men's basketball team to an 83-74 victory over Fresno Pacific Saturday night in the consolation game of the Dixie State Classic at Burns Arena.
UCSD (1-1) was down 34-31 at the half, but made almost 60% of its shots in the second period, including seven three-pointers. The Tritons out-rebounded the Sunbirds 38-30.
McGrath was 10-for-17 from the field with four three-pointers. He was perfect from the free throw line, draining all nine of his attempts, and rounded out a complete game with six rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes of play. He scored 22 of his points in the second half.
"We were not very sharp to start the game and that is something we need to shore up," said UCSD head coach Chris Carlson. "But, I am very proud of the determination and toughness we showed in the second half. Good teams adjust and adapt, and we did a great job in doing that tonight."
Two other Tritons hit double figures in points including Drew Dyer (15) and James McCann (13). McCann dished out six assists and Justin Brue grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Fresno Pacific (0-2) was led by John Taylor's 22 points. Matt Samuels added 12 and Malcom Griffin finished with 10 and a team-best six boards.
A layup by FPU's Trevon Clayton gave the Sunbirds their largest lead of the night, 45-36, with 16:09 left in the second half. The Tritons chipped away at the deficit and then McCann took over. He hit a jumper at 4:55 to put UCSD up 63-62, then nailed back-to-back three-pointers to give his squad a 69-62 advantage.
The Tritons went to the free throw line 29 times, converting 21 of those. The Sunbirds were 13-of-30 from the line.
Up next, UCSD opens its home slate by hosting Grand Canyon on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --