SAN DIEGO - Despite hitting 15 three-pointers, the University of California San Diego men's basketball team was defeated, 98-79, by San Diego State in an exhibition game Thursday night at Viejas Arena.
UC San Diego led by four points with 8:26 remaining in the opening half, but trailed by 11, 49-38, at the intermission. SDSU made 65.5 percent of its shots in the second half and was ahead by as many as 20 points in the period.
The Tritons shot 43.3 percent (29-67) overall and 44.1 percent (15-34) from behind the three-point line. Both teams finished with 33 rebounds, with UCSD holding a 14-8 advantage on the offensive glass.
"I'm very pleased with how we competed throughout the night, we did a lot of things we asked for - we took care of the ball, we competed on the glass, and our energy level in general was good," said Associate Head Coach Clint Allard. "We still need to shore up the defensive end, but overall I'm very proud of our effort."
Four Tritons hit double-figure point totals, including swingman Christian Oshita, who finished with a game-high 16. Forwards Scott Everman and Eric Patton netted 14 points apiece, with Everman going 4-for-4 from long range and Patton hauling in a game co-high eight rebounds. Guards Christian Bayne and George Buaku each dished out four assists and Buaku added seven boards.
The Aztecs, which shot 60.7 percent (34-56) for the game, got 46 of their points in the paint with 13 coming off the fast break. Six players had 10 or more points, led by Trey Kell's 14. Kell also contributed seven rebounds and seven assists, while Jalen McDaniels had eight boards.
San Diego State was 23-30 from the free throw line, while UC San Diego was 6-9. The Aztecs committed just six turnovers while forcing the Tritons into 12.
With 12:47 left in the game, a dunk by Jeremy Hemsley put the Aztecs up 70-50. However, the Tritons went on a 16-5 run to cut the deficit to nine (75-66) by the 7:53 mark. The run was capped by back-to-back three-pointers from forward Brett Oosdyke. That was as close as UCSD would get the rest of the way.
"I think we stayed with them for a big chunk of the game," said Allard. "They're gonna make their runs and I was proud of how we fought back and didn't let that one problem or one slide snowball into a blowout. We kind of kept it within arm's reach throughout the game and I was happy about that."
Allard assumed coaching duties against the Aztecs as fifth-year head coach Eric Olen's wife gave birth to a baby girl early Thursday morning.
The Tritons are coming off their best season ever in which they set program records for overall wins (27) and California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) victories (17). The team won its first-ever CCAA regular season title, its second league tournament crown, and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second-consecutive season.
UC San Diego opens its regular season on Nov. 10 against Azusa Pacific at Cal Poly Pomona.