Rough Waters

    MEN’S BASKETBALL — The UCSD men’s basketball team had a tough weekend, losing on the last possession in two straight games by a total of three points. The Tritons lost 60-59 to Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday before dropping an equally tight 54-52 decision to defending national champion Cal Poly Pomona.

    “It’s emotionally draining,” head coach Chris Carlson said. “But when you really look at it, I’m just so pleased with our effort. It’s just really unfortunate that right now we’re not getting the ultimate thing we want to get out of this and [winning] the game.”

    The Tritons trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half and still faced a 10-point deficit with 12:17 remaining against San Bernardino. UCSD pulled out a 12-4 run over the next five minutes to pull within two, but San Bernardino’s Therron Laudermill converted a three-point play on the Coyotes’ next possession to bring the score to 49-54. The Tritons responded with a quick 6-1 run to tie the score at 55 with four minutes remaining.

    Senior guard Casey Ryan put in a layup after a strong drive to give the Tritons the lead for the first time since the game’s opening minutes, making the score 59-58 with 1:22 on the clock. Laudermill responded with a bucket of his own, and each team was stopped defensively on the next two possessions. The Tritons got the ball with 14 seconds remaining but were forced into a bad shot, and sophomore forward Justin Brue’s three-pointer fell well short to give the Coyotes the victory.

    “I’m very proud of our effort, especially in the second half,” Carlson said. “We didn’t play a very good first half, but we made some adjustments and I thought the guys did a great job. The biggest thing was to come out with a greater sense of urgency, and I thought we did that and we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

    Ryan had a game-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds, and freshman guard James McCann and junior center Christian Hatch added 14 and 12 points, respectively.

    Laudermill gave the Tritons problems all night, as the opposing 6’7” forward put in 20 points and grabbed a game-high of 15 boards.

    The game against Cal Poly Pomona was eerily similar to Thursday night’s game, with the Tritons once again having to battle back before failing to convert a shot at the buzzer. The Tritons erased a 10-point deficit in the second half and led 46-42 with just over six minutes remaining, but the Broncos scored seven of the last 10 points to hang on for the win.

    Sophomore guard Tyler McGrath — who had a career-high 18 points and went 5-9 from behind the arc — hit a trey with six seconds remaining to make the score 53-52 in favor of the Broncos. UCSD fouled quickly, and Pomona’s Dwanye Fells was only able to make the first of his two free throws. Out of timeouts, the Tritons took the rebound and advanced up the floor in a hurry — but a long running jumper by Ryan wouldn’t go and Pomona escaped with the win.

    UCSD had a tough time getting production outside of McGrath, although Hatch added 10 points and eight rebounds. The rest of the Triton starters combined to go just 8-26 from the field.

    “When you look at Pomona’s group, there’s obviously a strong core there from the team that won the national championship last year,” Carlson said. “That’s what you go against when you go against Pomona. Very well coached and a lot of experienced players.”

    UCSD has now lost three straight and is  9-9 overall and 4-8 in conference play. The Tritons will look to right the ship against Sonoma State on Thursday in Rohnert Park, Calif.

    Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected]


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