Men Top SF State in Double Overtime

MEN’S BASKETBALL — After a disappointing 62-66 loss against Cal State Monterey Bay on Thursday night, the UCSD men’s basketball team looked to redeem itself against San Francisco State on Saturday. After 50 minutes of gut-wrenching battle, the Tritons pulled off a double-overtime victory against the Gators.

With six seconds left in the first overtime, junior guard Casey Ryan nailed a clutch three-pointer, carrying the Tritons into double overtime. UCSD then carried his momentum to seal the victory 91-86.

Four Tritons scored in the double-digits, senior guard Jordan Lawley leading the way with a season-best 31 points. Sophomore center Christian Hatch bested her previous career high, scoring 16 points and sinking eight of nine shots from the floor. Ryan scored 12 points — including the last-second three — and senior guard Tyler Acevedo hit three triples in the game, finishing with 10 points.

“Our competition level was there all [throughout the] game,” head coach Chris Carlson said. “The payoff was there — because we worked so hard to get to that point and compete at such a high level — and to have the win top it off was good. We improved tonight, and that’s a huge thing for us right now.”

Daniel Caddell/Guardian

After jumping out the gates to a 22-11 start, the Tritons slowed a bit and let the Gators go for a 13-3 run. And at 49-47, with nine minutes left in the second half, the game was still up for grabs.

The Gators gained momentum after taking a 51-49 lead, but Acevedo quickly answered back by netting a shot from outside the arc to put the Tritons back on top.

Lawley hit a crucial three-pointer to give the Tritons a 62-60 advantage with three minutes left in play. With 10 seconds to go, the Gators — who were down 65-68 — called a timeout. Soon after, San Francisco State tied the game 65-65, forcing an overtime period.

“We talked yesterday about pulling together a 40-minute game and the guys really did that,” said Lawley. “We all busted our butts out there and came out and proved that we wanted it.”

The Gators carried their late momentum into overtime, taking the lead by as much as 76-70. Sophomore guard Jay Wey was the game’s unsung hero. He netted two critical three-pointers with one minute on the clock. Down 76-73 with six seconds left, Ryan seized the moment with a timely three-pointer to tie the game and force it into double overtime.

“Every single one of us on the court has the capability of making that shot,” Lawley said. “Casey didn’t really have a look, but he threw it up and the prayer went in, so you just have to be thankful for it — and we capitalized on it.”

The Tritons took the late momentum and never looked back. Lawley nailed some critical free throws down the stretch to give the Tritons a hard-fought 91-86 win.

“It shows what type of competitive high we can reach,” Carlson said. “If we do the things we’ve talked about on a consistent basis, we can be a tough out. There are still a lot of things we can improve on, and that’s really the biggest thing we’re trying to do: maintain an atmosphere where everyone can improve individually and collectively.”

The win over the Gators followed a devastating loss at RIMAC Arena against Cal State Monterey Bay last Thursday, Jan. 14. Trailing by as many as 12 points, UCSD came back to take a 55-53 lead with five minutes left to play. However, the men were unable to complete their comeback bid, and lost 62-66.

UCSD is back on the road next week to take on the Humboldt State Lumberjacks on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Readers can contact Cameron Tillisch at [email protected].

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