Win Streak at Five

Photo by Alwin Szeto
Photo by Alwin Szeto

UCSD beats CSULA, CSUDH to extend win streak and move into tie for second in CCAA standings. 

Photo by Alwin Szeto
Photo by Alwin Szeto

With the winter season now in full swing, the UCSD men’s basketball team (7–3) finally appears to have shaken off its woes of inconsistency. The Tritons extended their win streak to five games this past Friday and Saturday, defeating Cal State Los Angeles 67–56 and Cal State Dominguez Hills 70–50, both on the road. UCSD is now on the longest win streak since the 2008–09 season.

“Any road win in this league is a good win,” UCSD head coach Eric Olen told the UCSD Athletics Department. 

The Tritons’ road win against Los Angeles (5–5) could be largely attributed to the discrepancy between the two teams’ free-throw shooting. Cal State Los Angeles could not seem to find its stroke from the charity stripe, making just eight out of 22 free throws, good for only 36 percent from the line. The Tritons, on the other hand, converted on 16–23 from the line.

Furthermore, the Tritons were stroking it from the deep as well, converting on 45 percent of their three-pointers, five of which came from junior guard Aleks Lipovic, who scored a game-high 15 points and also corralled four rebounds. 

With the teams going back and forth early on, the score was tight in the first half. The Tritons went into the locker room with a slim 24–20 lead.

In the second half, Los Angeles’ missed free throws began to take a toll on their team, as the Golden Eagles could not string points together for any offensive momentum and committed six turnovers in the final six minutes of the game. 

With the Eagles struggling, everything seemed to go the Tritons’ way offensively. In what seemed like a broken play and turnover, junior forward Drew Dyer corralled the loose ball and was able to find freshman guard George Buaku off a spin for the wide-open three to increase the lead to nine. 

A late free-throw from sophomore forward Adam Klie gave the Tritons the largest lead of the night at 15 and ultimately sealed the win. 

Klie finished with 13 points and a game-high six rebounds, while junior guard Hunter Walker scored 11 and dished out a team-high four assists. 

The Tritons continued to ride on their momentum the following night, defeating Cal State Dominguez Hills (0–10) and keeping them winless in a 70–50 decision. 

Unlike the previous night, UCSD came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, taking a 10-point lead halfway through the first half and holding a 12-point advantage going into intermission.

The team improved its deep ball shooting from the night before, hitting an impressive 13–27 from the three-point line. For the second straight night, Lipovic drained five from beyond the arc and finished the night with 15 points and four rebounds. 

Despite a brief effort to get back in the game, the Toros simply could not keep up with the Tritons in the second frame. 

“I thought we played with a lot of energy and toughness for the second game this week,” Olen said. “We completed defensively and had great balance and ball movement on offense.”

Klie had another double-digit scoring night with 11 points and also had a game-high six dimes. Dyer finished with 10 points of his own. 

UCSD’s bench provided solid contributions throughout the game, outscoring the Toros’ bench 25 to eight. Junior forward Zach McMillan finished with five points and a game-high 11 boards, leading the Tritons to a 42–23 advantage on the glass. Buaku posted eight points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes of play. After a quiet night against Los Angeles, Pepperdine transfer Jeff Van Dyke hit 3-4 from three for 11 points.

After being predicted to finish ninth in conference, the Tritons are beginning to prove their worth after a rocky start to the season. The Tritons are currently in a three-way tie for second place in the California Collegiate Athletics Association standings. Only Cal State Stanislaus is ahead with an 8–2 conference record. 

The Tritons look to extend their win streak to six and seven this coming Friday and Saturday when they return to La Jolla for their two-game homestand against Cal State San Bernardino (6–4) and Humboldt State University (4–5). Both games will tip-off at 7:30 p.m.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$2500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The UCSD Guardian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *