TRITONS SWEEP SEASON SERIES WITH AWAY WIN AT EAST BAY

The men’s basketball team picked up a 64-53 win at Cal State East Bay on Monday, sweeping the season series against the Pioneers in the process.

Christian Hatch and Casey Ryan each had a double-double, with 24 points and 10 rebounds for Hatch and 10 points and 17 boards for Ryan.

“Obviously people tend to look toward the points,” head coach Chris Carlson said. “But we put a great emphasis on rebounding numbers and their ability to defend. For me, their rebounding numbers are what really stick out from the box score.”

Hatch was 6-9 from the floor and 12-14 from the free throw line. His point total matched a career high set earlier this season against Cal State Monterey Bay, and the junior center is leading the team with 16.7 points per game in conference play.

Tyler McGrath had 13 points coming off the bench for the Tritons. The sophomore guard was 4-7 from behind the three-point line in 26 minutes. Ryan’s rebounding mark was a career-high for the 6’ 4” senior guard, and came a game after scoring a career-high 28 points against Sonoma State last Thursday.

UCSD shot 52 percent from the floor in the first half, taking a 32-25 lead at halftime, but gave up 13 points off turnovers to East Bay, allowing them to stay in the game. The Tritons cooled off in the second half — shooting just 28 percent — and relied on defense to maintain their lead.

“We’re always going to try to hang our hat on our ability to defend and rebound,” Carlson said. “Defensively, I thought we did a good job. Particularly whenever East Bay made a run, we seemed to be able to answer it with a stop and a score of our own.”

UCSD finished the game with an overwhelming 47-23 advantage on the boards.

East Bay twice cut the Tritons’ lead to two points in the second half, but UCSD responded and pulled away from the Pioneers each time. Leading 50-46 with 5:58 left, the Tritons scored six unanswered points, four of which were by Hatch, to take a 10-point lead. The Pioneers converted just three field goals for the rest of the game.

With two more road games this weekend, the Tritons will need to make sure they can convert on the offensive end.

“I thought we gave ourselves great opportunities offensively, we just didn’t make shots,” Carlson said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to take advantage of those more and more as we move on, because we need to.”

UCSD improved to 8-4 overall and 3-3 in the CCAA with the win, matching last season’s win total. Carlson, however, downplayed the importance of reaching the mark.

“Last year is in the past,” he said. “We try to grow from that and move on. We have our own goals right now and this year we have a totally different group.”

UCSD set the mark with 16 games — well over half its season — left to play.

East Bay fell to 2-8 overall and 0-6 in conference play with the loss. UCSD beat the Pioneers 69-55 at home on Dec. 14, giving the Tritons a season sweep.

The Tritons have won three of the their last four games, and will face Chico State on Friday looking to continue their good form. The squad will then travel to Turlock to take on Cal State Stanislaus on Saturday, Jan. 8.

Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected]


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