Men earn first Div.II road win

    UCSD men’s basketball coach Greg Lanthier has said that this year’s team has improved since last year, when it scraped the bottom of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, but early on-the-court results have not reflected this change.

    This weekend, the Tritons seemed to realize their potential by picking up their first ever CCAA road victory Friday night against Chico State 88-87 in overtime, while losing by only seven to UC Davis on Saturday night.

    The Chico State Wildcats went into the game against UCSD looking to break an eight-game losing streak, but the Tritons had other ideas.

    Sophomore Ryan Swed had a team-high 20 points and was six for 11 behind the three-point line while senior Nick Christensen added 19, including the game-winning three-pointer in overtime with 42 seconds left.

    The Tritons also received outstanding performances from reserves CJ Duffaut and Hassan Bassiri. Duffaut subbed for the foul-plagued Jody Woods, scoring 10 points and pulling down a team-high six rebounds in only 23 minutes of play.

    Freshman Hassan Bassiri replaced Cameron Jackson, who played most of the game in foul trouble. Bassiri responded with his best game of the season, scoring 15 points and grabbing five rebounds.

    As usual, UCSD was dominated in the paint by its opponents, but the Tritons made use of a season-high 17 three-pointers to put away the Wildcats.

    Buoyed by the win, the Tritons headed south to take on the Aggies from UC Davis Saturday night and nearly knocked off the CCAA’s fourth-placed team, losing 86-79.

    Jackson led UCSD with 17 points, six rebounds and six assists — all team-highs. Bassiri again played well, adding 15 points while shooting 3-3 from beyond the arc.

    As a team, the Tritons struggled, shooting 39 percent from the field and a disappointing 23 percent from three-point range.

    UCSD is now ninth out of 12 teams in the CCAA with a 3-7 record.

    The three wins already equal last season’s CCAA win total, and the Tritons aren’t even halfway through the season. The Tritons are looking to improve on the season, playing at home against Grand Canyon University starting Jan. 23 at RIMAC Arena. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m., preceded by the women’s game at 5:30 p.m.

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