Men's Basketball Gets a Rare Win, Defeating Chico State

    Who rocks the body that rocks the party? Who rocks the body that rocks the party? I’ll tell you who — the UCSD men’s basketball team, that’s who. They were the ones rocking the party that went down Friday night at a posh, high-profile San Diego venue.

    Lyon Liew
    Guardian

    That venue was RIMAC Arena, to be further referred to only as “”The Macky,”” and the party was Spirit Night 2001. Men’s and women’s basketball games were on tap and 2,352 boozed-up and raging revelers were on hand to bask in the event’s glow.

    Of course, what’s a party without a good ol’ fashioned ass-whupping, and on that count the Triton B-ball squad was more than happy to oblige. The poor souls on the short end of this festive bludgeoning were the players of Chico State, as they lost their heart, their soul, and their wallet in La Jolla. Oh, and they lost the game too, as the raucous Macky crowd roared its approval.

    The Tritons jumped out to an eight-point first half lead and never looked back, leading by 17 at one point and winning by the final score of 68-64. While the final score was close, there was never a doubt in the minds of the Triton fans. Well, maybe there was an inkling of doubt when Chico State tied the game with 19 seconds left, but then Cole Miller and Sam Higgins both sank two free throws in the waning moments to seal the deal.

    The Tritons were led by the clutch play of forward Higgins, who had a team high with 27 points on 6-15 shooting. Even more impressive is that his points were all recorded on three pointers and free throws. Higgins also came up big on the boards, pulling down 13 rebounds. Guard Nick Christensen also had a hand in the effort, netting 12 points, as did Cameron Jackson who had 11 on the night.

    Chico State had solid performances from guard Deon Robinson, who had 19 points and eight rebounds, Lee McCowan who had 12 points, and Jon Henderson, who was 5-12 shooting for nine points. Alan Case also pitched in with 10 rebounds.

    It wasn’t enough to topple the Triton attack, and UCSD notched its third check in the win column. The game was strong, the crowd was rowdy, and the team was pumped and ready to take on their next challenger.

    The excitement faded once this challenger, in the form of UC Davis, showed up on the Macky’s doorstep the following night. They came in and abruptly cut the Triton winning streak short before it even had a chance to get going. The Tritons took the court full of swagger, which intimidated the Aggies. This led to a 32-29 first half lead for the Tritons. They could not hold on though, as Davis made a run to come back and take the game by a final score of 70-56.

    The Tritons simply could not get their offense on track in the second half, and Davis took this opportunity to build a lead and sit on it.

    UCSD saw another quality performance from Higgins, who had 13 points on the night. The rest of the offense experienced a letdown from the previous night’s action, as the other four starting Tritons combined for a paltry 24 points. Ryan Rikansrud came off the bench to contribute nine points. Erik Ramp picthed in with seven points.

    These performances were overshadowed by the Tritons’ UC counterparts, who had a number of players put up solid numbers. Dominic Calori led with 13 points on 5-11 shooting, while fellow Aggie Keith Johnson also hit double figures with 10. Jess Mcelree had nine points to go along with his nine rebounds and Jordan Moss also knocked down nine points-worth of buckets.

    With the win the Aggies record improved to 9-5 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play and 12-7 overall. The Tritons saw their record fall to 2-12 in CCAA play and 3-16 overall.

    The Tritons hope to have more games like Friday’s and less like Saturday’s in the future. They will next get a chance to make good on those hopes Friday, when they will be traveling to Rohnert Park to go dome to dome with Sonoma State.

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