Tritons Return Home After Another Road Split

    ‘Our focus is always defense and our guys did a great job of holding them to a low shooting percentage,’ Husted said.

    The Golden Eagles managed only five of 22 field goals in the first half and missed all six of their three-point attempts as the Triton defense proved itself as the league’s stingiest squad in terms of field-goal percentage allowed. UCSD’s offense matched its defensive effort, connecting on 54.5 percent of its attempts in the first half, going 3-for-7 from long distance. The Tritons also went 6-for-8 from the line and led by as much as 13 in the first half. With only one free throw scored in the final 2:20 of the half, the visiting team went into the break with a 33-20 lead.

    The Tritons did not slip up after intermission, taking their largest lead of the game on a jumper by senior forward Shane Poppen just over a minute into the second half. Cal State Los Angeles was able to cut into the lead, getting within five points following their first three-pointer of the game with 9:58 to play. UCSD never relinquished the lead as senior forward Darryl Lawlor responded with a layup on the other end. The Tritons built their lead back to 15 points, 62-47, with 2:44 to play, cruising to the win. Husted, Kim, sophomore guard Casey Ryan and Lawlor combined to go 9-for-10 from the free-throw line in the final minutes to leave the Golden Eagles no chance of a comeback.

    ‘It was nice to see us hit our stride offensively as a team,’ Husted said. ‘We’ve been focusing on getting the ball inside and working for better shots. This weekend it paid off and we were stroking.’

    Kim scored a game-high 15 points and Husted added 11, with each grabbing four rebounds. Lawley scored 10 points, while Lawlor had nine points, three rebounds and an assist, connecting on all three of his field goal attempts in 17 minutes off the bench. Senior center A.J. Maulhardt also was perfect from the field, converting both of his attempts for four points while adding a block and a game-high five boards.

    As a team, the Tritons won the rebounding battle, 32-26, and shot a season-best 55 percent from the field. Cal State Los Angeles was held to only 32.7 percent field-goal shooting in a game they never led.

    ‘We knew if we took care of the ball offensively we would get good shots and they were falling for us,’ Husted said.

    UCSD was almost as efficient on Friday night, shooting 52.4 percent from the field against second-place Cal State Dominguez Hills. Stuckey again helped the team get out to a quick start against the Toros, scoring five of the first nine points to give the Tritons a 9-4 advantage after less than five minutes. The teams traded the lead throughout the first half, with neither gaining more than a five-point advantage, which Cal State Dominguez Hills held at the break, 34-29.

    Scoring first in the second half, the Toros secured their biggest lead, 41-32, following a dunk with 16:46 to play. The Tritons climbed back to tie the game twice, the first coming at 45 with 9:03 to play and the second at 52 following a Lawley layup with 5:29 left in the game. Lawley then gave the Tritons the lead for the first time in the second half, 54-52, with a jumper at the 4:22 mark. Cal State Dominguez Hills’ Jonathan Tolliver responded with two three-pointers over the next minute and a half as the Toros extended back to a six-point cushion. Poppen’s jumper and two Lawley free throws brought UCSD within one possession, but a three-pointer to tie in the final seconds was off as the Tritons lost their fourth conference road game of the season.

    ‘Dominguez is a really tough team,’ Husted said. ‘They have some big guys who rebound like crazy. We played great offensively against them, but not being able to keep them off the boards was the deciding factor.’
    UCSD was outrebounded 32-21, as the Toros pulled down 15 offensive boards compared to the Tritons’ five.

    Despite the loss, the Tritons forced Cal State Dominguez Hills into 20 turnovers and held their opponent below 45 percent shooting from the field. Lawley’s 22 points were a game-high, Husted added 10 with four rebounds and three assists and Poppen grabbed a game-high six rebounds and scored eight points.

    The Tritons return to RIMAC Arena on Feb. 13, kicking off their longest home stand of the season with four games, including Spirit Night on Feb. 20 against San Francisco State.

    ‘We love playing at home, feeding off the crowd’s energy,’ Husted said. ‘We feel the fans are our sixth man and really affect the other team so we’re really looking forward to these next four games. It also makes getting a home playoff game that much more important, because I think we have the best home court advantage in the conference.’

    UCSD will face Cal Poly Pomona, currently the CCAA’s scoring defense leader and tied with the Tritons for fourth place in the league, on Feb. 13. The Tritons then host conference-leading Cal State San Bernardino on Feb. 14. Both games are slated for tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

    Readers can contact Joe Tevelowitz at [email protected].

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    MEN’S BASKETBALL ‘mdash; The Tritons completed their second straight weekend split on the road, losing at Cal State Dominguez Hills, 61-58, on Feb. 6, before picking up a 71-60 win against Cal State Los Angeles on Feb. 7. UCSD’s win on Saturday halted a two-game losing streak and gave the Tritons a record of 12-8 overall, 9-5 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. While head coach Chris Carlson’s squad is currently tied for fourth in the conference with six games remaining, the Tritons are only two games behind first-place Cal State San Bernardino.

    Prior to Saturday’s contest against Cal State Los Angeles, the Tritons were privileged to sit down and speak with one of the greatest minds in sports history, former UCLA coach John Wooden.

    ‘Coach [Carlson] just asked our seniors if we wanted to go to coach Wooden’s apartment, even though it would change up our normal pre-game stuff,’ senior guard Alan Husted said. ‘It really wasn’t a question, it’s a once in a lifetime experience to sit with coach Wooden and just listen to his wisdom on every subject. I know he’s been a hug
    e role model personally for me so I was hanging on every word he said.’

    The inspirational visit seemed to pay off as UCSD got on the board quickly in Saturday’s game against Cal State Los Angeles. Senior guard Kelvin Kim scored the game’s first seven points and senior forward Brett Stuckey scored the next five as UCSD opened up a 12-3 lead in the first five and a half minutes of the game. The Golden Eagles closed to within seven before free throws by junior guard Jordan Lawley and Stuckey gave UCSD its first double-digit advantage with over 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

    ‘Our focus is always defense and our guys did a great job of holding them to a low shooting percentage,’ Husted said.

    The Golden Eagles managed only five of 22 field goals in the first half and missed all six of their three-point attempts as the Triton defense proved itself as the league’s stingiest squad in terms of field-goal percentage allowed. UCSD’s offense matched its defensive effort, connecting on 54.5 percent of its attempts in the first half, going 3-for-7 from long distance. The Tritons also went 6-for-8 from the line and led by as much as 13 in the first half. With only one free throw scored in the final 2:20 of the half, the visiting team went into the break with a 33-20 lead.

    The Tritons did not slip up after intermission, taking their largest lead of the game on a jumper by senior forward Shane Poppen just over a minute into the second half. Cal State Los Angeles was able to cut into the lead, getting within five points following their first three-pointer of the game with 9:58 to play. UCSD never relinquished the lead as senior forward Darryl Lawlor responded with a layup on the other end. The Tritons built their lead back to 15 points, 62-47, with 2:44 to play, cruising to the win. Husted, Kim, sophomore guard Casey Ryan and Lawlor combined to go 9-for-10 from the free-throw line in the final minutes to leave the Golden Eagles no chance of a comeback.

    ‘It was nice to see us hit our stride offensively as a team,’ Husted said. ‘We’ve been focusing on getting the ball inside and working for better shots. This weekend it paid off and we were stroking.’

    Kim scored a game-high 15 points and Husted added 11, with each grabbing four rebounds. Lawley scored 10 points, while Lawlor had nine points, three rebounds and an assist, connecting on all three of his field goal attempts in 17 minutes off the bench. Senior center A.J. Maulhardt also was perfect from the field, converting both of his attempts for four points while adding a block and a game-high five boards.

    As a team, the Tritons won the rebounding battle, 32-26, and shot a season-best 55 percent from the field. Cal State Los Angeles was held to only 32.7 percent field-goal shooting in a game they never led.

    ‘We knew if we took care of the ball offensively we would get good shots and they were falling for us,’ Husted said.

    UCSD was almost as efficient on Friday night, shooting 52.4 percent from the field against second-place Cal State Dominguez Hills. Stuckey again helped the team get out to a quick start against the Toros, scoring five of the first nine points to give the Tritons a 9-4 advantage after less than five minutes. The teams traded the lead throughout the first half, with neither gaining more than a five-point advantage, which Cal State Dominguez Hills held at the break, 34-29.

    Scoring first in the second half, the Toros secured their biggest lead, 41-32, following a dunk with 16:46 to play. The Tritons climbed back to tie the game twice, the first coming at 45 with 9:03 to play and the second at 52 following a Lawley layup with 5:29 left in the game. Lawley then gave the Tritons the lead for the first time in the second half, 54-52, with a jumper at the 4:22 mark. Cal State Dominguez Hills’ Jonathan Tolliver responded with two three-pointers over the next minute and a half as the Toros extended back to a six-point cushion. Poppen’s jumper and two Lawley free throws brought UCSD within one possession, but a three-pointer to tie in the final seconds was off as the Tritons lost their fourth conference road game of the season.

    ‘Dominguez is a really tough team,’ Husted said. ‘They have some big guys who rebound like crazy. We played great offensively against them, but not being able to keep them off the boards was the deciding factor.’
    UCSD was outrebounded 32-21, as the Toros pulled down 15 offensive boards compared to the Tritons’ five.

    Despite the loss, the Tritons forced Cal State Dominguez Hills into 20 turnovers and held their opponent below 45 percent shooting from the field. Lawley’s 22 points were a game-high, Husted added 10 with four rebounds and three assists and Poppen grabbed a game-high six rebounds and scored eight points.

    The Tritons return to RIMAC Arena on Feb. 13, kicking off their longest home stand of the season with four games, including Spirit Night on Feb. 20 against San Francisco State.

    ‘We love playing at home, feeding off the crowd’s energy,’ Husted said. ‘We feel the fans are our sixth man and really affect the other team so we’re really looking forward to these next four games. It also makes getting a home playoff game that much more important, because I think we have the best home court advantage in the conference.’

    UCSD will face Cal Poly Pomona, currently the CCAA’s scoring defense leader and tied with the Tritons for fourth place in the league, on Feb. 13. The Tritons then host conference-leading Cal State San Bernardino on Feb. 14. Both games are slated for tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

    Readers can contact Joe Tevelowitz at [email protected].

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