Tritons Look for Help at Home

This weekend, Jan. 10 to Jan. 11, the UCSD Men’s Basketball team will face CCAA opponents Chico State and Cal State Stanislaus for the first time this season. UCSD goes into this weekend with a 1–5 record in conference, a 2–7 record overall, needing a win to pull itself out of from last place, where it sits tied with both Humboldt State and Cal State Stanislaus.

Cal State Stanislaus Cal State Stanislaus has fallen into a midseason slump. The Warriors have lost their last three games, falling to San Francisco State and Sonoma State by single-digit margins, after getting blown out by Chico State 48–86.

“Stanislaus is another team that’s very well-coached, and they always do a very good job of scouting and figuring out what you’re going to do,” Carlson said. “I think we need to set a tone early on and establish a presence, and force them to play our speed and our style.”

Although Stanislaus carries the same 1–5 record, the Tritons may have trouble matching up with the much larger Warrior lineup. Stanislaus touts a number of forwards well-past 6-foot-6, who may prove to be a problem for the smaller Triton roster. Look for senior shooting guard Tyler McGrath to produce from the perimeter. The guard is UCSD’s top-scorer, averaging 16 points a game.

Chico State Chico State, picked to win the conference in the annual CCAA Preseason Coaches Poll, is currently tied for third in the CCAA standings, with a 4–2 CCAA record and 7–3 overall record. The Wildcats will look to continue their four-game winning streak this Friday against the Tritons.

Last season, Chico State was crowned the regular season champion, during which it finished 25–8 and made its first appearance at the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in five years. This season, the Wildcats return junior guard Damario Sims to run the point. The guard earned All-CCAA honors along with All-West Region honors and is sure to push the UCSD backcourt this Friday.

“Sims is very good, and he will pose problems for us this weekend,” UCSD head coach Chris Carlson said. “He’s athletic, well-coached, and he’s on a team that’s always very well-prepared.”

The Tritons went up against Chico State twice last season, losing once in early January and again in February.

“[Chico] always does a good job defensively,” Carlson said. So we’re going to work hard on getting open and not turning the ball over so that we can give ourselves chances to score. I think in our last couple games we have been turning the ball over a lot, and that’s been a big problem for us.”