SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - Two Tritons recorded career-high point totals but it wasn't enough as the UC San Diego men's basketball team was defeated, 90-82, in its California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) opener Saturday night at Cal State San Bernardino.
UCSD led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but CSUSB made 65.5 percent of its shots in the second stanza to come from behind and snag the win. The Tritons fell to 1-3 overall while the Coyotes improved to 1-1.
Senior forward Justin Brue led the Tritons with a career- and game- co-high 24 points on 12-for-16 shooting from the field. For the third straight game, he grabbed a team-best nine rebounds. Junior guard James McCann finished with 21 points and seven assists - both season-highs - and made good on all nine of his free throw attempts. Sophomore center Brandon Blanchard recorded a career-high 14 points and senior guard Tyler McGrath joined the double-digit point group with 12.
The Coyotes were paced by Brian Goins, who equaled Brue with 24 points. He also contributed three rebounds, four assists and three steals. Four other players finished with 10 or more points for San Bernardino, including Joshua Gouch (16), Jamari Simmons (16), Pablo Genovo (10) and Lacy Haddock (10).
Brue had 14 of his points in the first half, sinking seven of nine shots. His layup with 8:09 remaining in the half pushed the score to 25-13, UCSD's largest lead of the night. San Bernardino, which never led in the half, chipped away and the Tritons were ahead by just three, 34-31, going into halftime.
A jumper by McCann early in the second frame had UCSD up by seven at 40-33. Again the Coyotes whittled away at UCSD's advantage and took their first lead of the night, 48-46, with 13:07 left in the game when Genevo buried a jumper. UCSD tied it up for the final time when a dunk by Brue brought the score to 48-48. However, Gouch's layup on CSUSB's next possession put the Coyotes back up for good. With just 1:03 left, a pair of free throws by Goins gave the Coyotes their largest cushion of the night at 85-73.
UCSD made 52.3 percent of its shots in the game, while CSUSB finished at 57.9 percent. After hitting 14 of 28 shots in the first half, the Coyotes turned it on in the second and netted 19 of 29, including seven of 10 from behind the three-point line.
The Tritons held a 34-28 advantage in rebounds, which included a 12-7 lead on the offensive glass. They struggled from behind the arc, sinking just two of 15 three-point attempts.
Cal State San Bernardino has won the last eight match-ups against UC San Diego. The Tritons will have a chance to stop the streak on Dec. 30 when the Coyotes travel to La Jolla to play at RIMAC Arena.
UCSD, which plays its next four games at home, hosts a pair of league games next week with Cal State L.A. on Friday, Nov. 30 and Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday, Dec. 1. Both games are slated for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff.
-- UCSDtritons.com --