Tritons Lead Wire-to-Wire in 81-73 Win at Cal State LA
LOS ANGELES - The University of California San Diego men's basketball team scored the first nine points of the game and held a lead the whole way through en route to an 81-73 victory against league rival Cal State LA Sunday night at University Gym.
UC San Diego improved to 6-4 overall and 3-1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). Cal State LA fell to 7-4 and 3-3 as it suffered its first home loss of the season.
"It's great to go on the road and get a win," said UCSD head coach Eric Olen. "Cal State LA is very disruptive and they forced us to adjust throughout the game. It wasn't always pretty, but we found a way tonight and that bodes well for us going forward."
It was all UCSD in the opening half. After running out to a 9-0 lead, the Tritons pushed their advantage to double-digits when Scott Everman hit a three to make it 24-13 with 8:37 left in the half. Back-to-back threes by Anthony Ballestero and Everman gave UC San Diego a 19-point lead (34-15), its largest of the night, at the 3:57 mark. The Tritons were ahead 38-26 at halftime.
Seven of eight Tritons that were on the floor in the first half scored points, led by Michael Shoemaker, who totaled 10. UCSD shot 57.7 percent (15-26) overall and 42.9 percent (6-14) from behind the three-point line in the first frame.
Conversely, Cal State LA managed to net just nine of its 31 shot attempts, 29 percent, in the half. The Golden Eagles hit three of 11 from long range, 27.3 percent.
CSULA had a much more productive second half, out-scoring UCSD 47-43 and improving its shooting to 41.9 percent.
With the Tritons leading by 12 (73-61) and just 2:48 remaining in regulation, the Golden Eagles used a 10-3 run over the next 2:08 to cut their deficit to just five points. A pair of free throws by Kenneth Cyprian capped the run, making the score 76-71 with 40 seconds left. However, Christian Bayne made five free throws down the stretch to seal the victory for UC San Diego.
Bayne finished with a game co-high 19 points to go along with seven rebounds, three assists, and a steal. The guard went 10-for-11 from the free throw line and is shooting a league-best .929 from the charity stripe this season. He scored 14 of his points in the second half.
Everman had 14 points and five boards, while Shoemaker totaled 12 points and Christian Oshita had 11. Eric Patton matched a career-high with eight rebounds and Mikey Howell distributed a game-best four assists.
For the game, UCSD shot 51.1 percent (24-47) overall and 29.6 percent (8-27) from long range. The Tritons out-rebounded the Golden Eagles, 43-33. They totaled 17 assists, but turned the ball over 19 times, which matched a season-high.
For Cal State LA, Garrett Carter led the way offensively with 19 points. Sequan Walker had 14 points and Jihad Woods recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Golden Eagles ended up with a 35.5 shooting percentage (22-62) and hit 22.2 percent (4-18) of their three-point shots. They made just 64.1 percent (25-39) of their free throws.
UC San Diego plays one more game before a holiday break when the Tritons travel to CCAA opponent Cal State Dominguez Hills on Tuesday, Dec. 19 for a 3:30 p.m. contest.