Men’s basketball ends three-game losing streak

    UCSD returned to its winning ways this weekend after capturing the second game of a two-game homestand on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14. The Tritons were outmatched by the undefeated Cal State Bakersfield in the first game and lost handily, 86-61. However, the Tritons bounced back nicely against Cal State Stanislaus and picked up a much-needed victory, 80-63, to break a three-game losing streak.

    Returning home is never easy against Cal State Bakersfield, as the Tritons found out on Feb. 13. The visiting Roadrunners, who are ranked fourth in the West Region and first in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, jumped on the Tritons early and never let up, taking a 47-27 halftime lead. The ’Runners shot a blistering 49 percent from the field in the first half.

    In the second half, the big lead proved to be too much for the Tritons to mount a comeback. The closest the Tritons got was within 14 points, but at the 5:33 mark, UCSD trailed by 27.

    Cal State Bakersfield was led by senior forward Martin Rajniak who had a game-high 22 points to go with nine rebounds. Junior Dwayne Brown had a solid game off the bench, finishing with 15 points, seven rebounds and game-highs of five blocks and four steals.

    For the Tritons, redshirt freshman Parker Berling had 13 points, while another freshman, Robby Peters, added 11 points of his own. The always-reliable junior guard Brandon Francis finished in double digits with 10 points.

    The Tritons did not have much time to think about the loss, as they returned to action Feb. 14 against Cal State Stanislaus. UCSD’s focus showed in its thumping of the Warriors, 80-63.

    The game was close in the first half as UCSD trailed 37-34 going into the locker room. Cal State Stanislaus was red-hot from the field in the first half (shooting 15-for-29) at 51 percent.

    However, the Warriors’ lead would quickly evaporate as the Tritons were on fire in the second half while the Warriors were ice cold. The Tritons shot 56 percent in the second half to the Warriors’ 30 percent.

    Right out of the half, freshman guard Adam Reinking scored four quick points to put the Tritons back on top at 38-37. The Warriors, despite their poor shooting, stuck around. The score was 59-58 with 8:45 left. Senior guard Cameron Jackson fired a three-pointer to push the lead to four. Jackson made sure the game was out of reach with four late free throws and a nice jump shot to put the Tritons up, 74-61.

    Sophomore guard Matthew Sweany did his part to make sure the Tritons would win, scoring a game-high 24 points, which included five three-point baskets. Jackson had 10 points for the Tritons. Also scoring in double figures for the Tritons was Reinking, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Francis with 12 points and junior center Jesse Boyd with 11 points.

    Not only has this win put the Tritons within reach of Sonoma State and San Francisco State in the CCAA standings at 6-10, but the Tritons showed promise with an all-around solid team performance with balanced scoring.

    UCSD will look to continue its stellar play against Chico State and UC Davis on the road this week.

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