Loss Ends Program-Best Season

    MEN’S BASKETBALL — The greatest season in the UCSD men’s
    basketball team’s Division-II history came to an end on March 14 when the
    Tritons fell in the West Regional quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II
    Tournament to No. 11 University of Alaska, Anchorage
    by an 80-60 final score. The game was hosted by West Region top-seed Alaska
    Anchorage at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex in Anchorage,
    . UCSD ends its historic season with
    an 18-12 record, its best since 1998-99 and since making the move to Division

    Junior forward Henry Patterson, in his final season at UCSD,
    opened up the Tritons’ first appearance in the Division-II tournament with a
    layup. Unfortunately, UCSD scored only once more in the next seven minutes as
    Alaska Anchorage opened up an 18-4 advantage. Sophomore guard Jordan Lawley and
    junior guard Alan Husted accounted for five straight Triton points that cut
    into the lead. After the Seawolves extended their lead back to 14 with 8:24 remaining, Lawley again embodied UCSD’s
    underdog determination, scoring nine points in a five-minute stretch to pull
    the Tritons within seven. The Seawolves responded with a three-point play and a
    three-point field goal, highlighting a 10-4 run to close out the first half
    with Alaska Anchorage up 39-26.

    Junior forward Henry Patterson scored UCSD’s first points in NCAA Division II Tournament history and went on to score 10 points in the Tritons’ 80-60 loss to the Seawolves in Anchorage, Alaska on March 14. (Erik Jepsen/Guardian file)

    “One of the hallmarks of this team has been we never give
    up,” head coach Chris Carlson said. “We always compete, all the way up until
    the final horn, which is something I was very proud of throughout the year.
    There have been times when we got down big, and we didn’t fold, which I

    The Tritons would find themselves in a big hole after the
    break. The Seawolves were able to extend to a 20-point advantage early in the
    second half as UCSD went scoreless for the first 3:54
    coming out of the break. Lawley was the first Triton to find the basket in the
    second half, but despite back-to-back field goals as part of his career-high 24
    points, UCSD climbed no closer to the Seawolves than 15 points in the second

    “Whenever you go and play on the road it’s going to be a
    difficult test, and when you’re playing a No. 1 seed in their place it’s going
    to be tough,” Carlson said. “Anchorage
    is very deserving of a number one seed. They’re very skilled, especially their
    two big guys, Carl Arts and McCade Olson. We knew we were going to have a tough
    time guarding them.”

    Olson and Arts led the way for Alaska Anchorage, with 28 and
    21 points, respectively. Olson also added a game-high seven rebounds, while
    guard Luke Cooper was just shy of a double-double with nine points and a
    game-high nine assists.

    Lawley led UCSD, going 8-of-13 from the field and 6-of-6
    from the charity stripe as part of his career-high-scoring night. Patterson
    added 10 points, while junior forward Darryl Lawlor grabbed a team-high five
    rebounds. Junior guard Andrew Hatch, in his final game for the Tritons, tied
    Lawlor with a team-high three assists. As a team, UCSD shot 44.4 percent from
    the field and 76.2 percent from the free-throw line, but could not keep up with
    Alaska Anchorage’s blistering 60.4-percent field goal and 94.4-percent
    free-throw shooting.

    “The thing that I’ve always felt is you have to earn your
    success, and that’s one thing that this group did,” Carlson said. “We worked
    hard in practice, we worked hard on the mental side of things. [The team was]
    understanding that adversity is going to come, and it’s often how you handle
    that adversity that determines how you are going to be in the future.”

    Patterson ends the regular season averaging team highs of
    12.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 60.6 percent from the
    field — a percentage that ranks third in the conference. Fellow all-CCAA
    honoree Clint Allard finished his final season ranked third on the team in
    scoring at 9.8 points per game, first in assists at 4.6 per game — which ranks
    third in the CCAA — and fourth on the team in rebounding, with 3.9 boards per
    game. Allard also led the conference with a 2.32 assist-to-turnover ratio. As a
    team, the Tritons finished the year ranked first in the conference in
    assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.14 and second in three-point field goal
    percentage at 39.3 percent.

    Carlson, in his first year at UCSD and his first season ever
    as a head coach, led the Tritons through a season that included two wins over
    nationally-ranked Cal State San Bernardino, two six-game winning streaks, and
    at least one victory against all but one conference opponent. Carlson also took
    his team from a five-game losing streak to end the regular season into a
    three-game winning streak in the CCAA tournament, culminating in the program’s
    first-ever conference title.

    While obviously pleased with his team’s success and the five
    graduating seniors from this year’s squad, Carlson is already preparing for
    next season.

    “I’m really proud of our senior group and the leadership
    that they provided throughout the season,” he said. “They all worked extremely
    hard; a very determined group of seniors who all wanted to go out on a good
    note, which they did. I was very pleased with our efforts throughout the year,
    but we still have a lot of room for growth. Hopefully we can have a very
    productive spring and summer for the guys who are returning.”

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