LA JOLLA, Calif. - Forward Scott Everman scored a game-high 22 points to lead the University of California San Diego men's basketball team to a narrow, 67-64 conference victory against Sonoma State Saturday evening at RIMAC Arena.
UC San Diego improved to 14-6 on the season and moved back into second place by itself in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) standings with an 11-3 mark. Sonoma State fell to 9-10 overall and 7-8 in the conference.
The Tritons led the entire way after scoring the game's first five points. However, the Seawolves didn't make it easy for the home team.
With 11:53 left in the second half, guard George Buaku hit a pair of free throws to put UC San Diego up by 12 points, 48-36, its largest lead of the night. With the Tritons ahead by 10 after Everman sunk a three-pointer at the 7:10 mark, SSU scored five unanswered points to get back within five. The Seawolves continued to chip away and were behind by just a single point three times in the final 36 seconds, but UCSD would not relinquish its advantage.
UCSD led by six, 30-24, at halftime.
Everman was 7-for-16 from the field with four three-pointers. He also collected eight rebounds, four assists, and three blocks - all of those game-highs as well. The six-foot-seven sophomore has hit at least one trey in 19 of 20 games and has netted multiple threes in 16 contests.
Three other Tritons finished in double figures including Anthony Ballestero (12), Christian Bayne (10), and Christian Oshita (10). Bayne hauled in seven rebounds and hit all six of his free throws, while Oshita grabbed six boards. Ballestero was 4-for-8 shooting with a pair of three-pointers.
As a team, UC San Diego shot 35.1 percent (20-57), its second-lowest percentage of the season. From behind the arc, it made 37.5 percent (9-24) of its attempts. The Tritons turned the ball over just four times, matching a season-low.
The Tritons' starting five accounted for 87 percent of the team's points.
Jackson Gion led the Seawolves offensively with 19 points, while Brandon Tillis had 11 and Isaac Davidson finished with 10.
Sonoma State shot 38.9 percent (21-54) overall and was 16-for-18 from the free throw line. The Seawolves held a 41-36 advantage in rebounding.
UC San Diego and Sonoma State meet again next week as the Tritons travel to Rohnert Park on Friday, Feb. 2.