Just two days after downing Cal State Monterey Bay, the UC San Diego men’s basketball team earned its second straight road win by winning a close game against Cal State East Bay. With their 73–68 win over the Pioneers, the Tritons improved to 12–5 overall and 9–2 in conference play and look forward to improving those records in the team’s upcoming three game home stand.
The Tritons started off the first period strong, hitting three three-pointers within the first five minutes to take a 10–5 lead over the Pioneers. Unfortunately for the Tritons, that would be the largest lead they would take in the entire period, as the game turned into a back-and-forth affair. In a period marked by seven tie games, Cal State East Bay had no issue matching any of UCSD’s scores, leading to a 31–31 score by the end of the period.
In the beginning of the second period, the Tritons had trouble keeping pace with their opponent, as the Pioneers looked like they might run away with the game. With 11:35 left in the period, UCSD allowed a Cal State East Bay layup to put the Pioneer lead at 39–50. Junior guard Christian Bayne, who scored an incredible 24 points in the second half, was one of the main reasons the game never got too far out of hand. Starting with an and-one by junior guard/forward Christian Oshita, the Tritons began to steal back the momentum as they slowly cut their deficit to just a few points. A layup by Christian Bayne with 0:35 left on the clock tied the game for UC San Diego, and his subsequent free-throw gave the Tritons a lead that they would never relinquish.
Bayne finished with a game-leading 28 points, while Oshita and sophomore forward Scott Everman both finished with double-digit points. Oshita also led the team with seven total rebounds. UCSD kept Cal State East Bay on its toes thanks to some strong three-point shooting; the team finished the game seven-of-17 from three. That and the fact the Tritons consistently hit their free throws (88 percent on the night) made the difference in a comeback win against the Pioneers.
Next up, the Tritons begin their homestand by hosting Stanislaus State on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m.