Men's Basketball Woes Continue

The UCSD men’s basketball team had a tough weekend, losing two straight games to California State Universities from Stanislaus and Bakersfield.

David Pilz

In the first half of the game against Stanislaus Friday, the Tritons played extremely well, shooting an amazing 60 percent from the field. They connected on 7 of 13 three-point shoots, yet only made one free throw out of five. CSU Stanislaus, on the other hand, started of with mediocre play, shooting a low 28 percent from the field. They connected on three three-pointers and added three free throws. Going into halftime, the Tritons were in command with a 38-26 lead.

In the second half, however, momentum shifted to the visiting team. Stanislaus shot 58 percent from the field, connecting on seven three-pointers and nine of 14 free throws. The Tritons, however, were not as sharp as they were in the first half, shooting 58 percent from the field as well, but only attempting 19 shots. UCSD shot an awesome five out of 11 from three-point land and an amazing 10 out of 12 from the free-throw stripe. Yet in the end, the home team from San Diego came up a point short, 76-75.

Guard Nick Cristensen was the leading scorer for the Tritons with 22 points in 28 minutes. Sam Higgins dished out 6 assists to lead the team.

CSU Stanislaus got balanced scoring from Enver Soobzokov and Jeramiah Davis, who had 20 points and 18 points respectively. The team leader in assists was Samer Sabbah with three, which illustrates the kind of one-on-one action their team used.

“”We were able to exploit some of their defenders,”” Christensen said. “”We played within the offense and got a lot of easy layups. That seemed to be the key to building a good margin, breaking down their defense and getting easy lanes to the basket. It’s tough to lose such a close game, but we played pretty well.””

Against Bakersfield Saturday, the UC team played another brilliant first half, but again could not sustain the momentum in the second half. The Tritons shot 50 percent from the field, and connected on five three-pointers to take a 35-31 lead into halftime. CSU Bakersfield shot a meager 41 percent from the field, connecting on three of nine from downtown.

In the second half, the Tritons got outplayed. They shot a decent 45 percent from the field, but connected on only 33 percent on their three-point attempts. CSU Bakersfield, on the other hand, shot a sizzling 56 percent from the field and an awesome four for five from three-point land. They played consistently down the stretch, making 14 of 18 free throws in the second half.

“”These last two games were really tough,”” Christensen said. “”Stanislaus came out strong in the beginning of the second half when we worked to build a 12 point lead at halftime. That took a lot out of us. We played better on Sunday, but couldn’t pull out the win.””

The Tritons’ season record is now 3-20, 2-16 in league play. Both of the teams were in the CCAA division, which is turning out to be quite competitive. Next weekend, the UCSD men’s basketball team travels to take on two more CSU teams from Dominguez Hills and Los Angeles, respectively. So get on out there and and lend your support to our Triton squad as their season rolls on. These ucoming maches versus the two Cal State Schools will be a great time to get your cheer on.