Over the weekend, UCSD competed at home, taking on Cal State Los Angeles on Friday, Nov. 30 and CSU Dominguez Hills on Saturday, going up early in both games before being overtaken down the home stretch.
“We’ve been doing a lot of good things, we just need to put it all together,” UCSD head coach Chris Carlson said. “We haven’t really played a 40-minute game yet, and I think when we do it’s gonna be a real problem for the rest of the league.”
Against CSU Dominguez Hills, UCSD seemed the better squad for the first 30 minutes of the game. The Tritons went into the second half with a 36-29 lead, which they extended to as much as 11-point lead after starting the period.
But from there, the Toros began to chip at the lead, rushing the perimeter to defend UCSD’s shooters while continuing to shutdown the Triton forwards. The discrepancy between UCSD’s shooting percentages in the first and second halves shine a light on one of the reasons why the Tritons were unable to close out the game. In the first half, UCSD went a very solid 46.7 percent, while shooting a dismal 24 percent in the second half.
“I think we’ll shoot the ball better, I don’t think we’ve shot the ball well in recent weeks, and I know we’re a better shooting team than we are, and we just gotta keep working at it,” Carlson said.
In games past, UCSD’s outside shooting ability has kept the Tritons in games. Senior shooting guard Tyler McGrath had another solid shooting night, going 6-for-13 from the field, while also picking up three three-pointers. McGrath recorded his third team-leading performance, finishing with 19 points. Junior point guard James McCann did a solid job bringing up the ball for the Tritons, despite facing full-court man defense for most of the game, while also contributing 10 points.
One of the biggest surprises on the night was freshman forward Drew Dyer’s offensive impact. The 6’6” forward has an affinity for the perimeter, getting open from the wing and knocking down shots as his defender sags off. Dyer ended the night with 13 points on top of six rebounds. Fortunately, the Tritons have a two-week break coming up, giving UCSD an opportunity to regroup and work.
“We’re gonna work on our shooting,” Carlson said. “We’re gonna work on our defense. There were some times when we had some breakdowns in the second half that we need to work on. And we’re gonna get better at what we do, and we’re gonna work in the two-plus weeks that we’ve got here.”
UCSD’s next game will not be until Dec. 16, against Pacifica at home. The Tritons then have another lengthy break, where they will not return to competition until Dec. 30.