Men’s Basketball Goes 1-1, Falls One Game Behind Conference Lead

The UC San Diego men’s basketball team played against Sonoma State and San Francisco State this past week. The Tritons beat out Sonoma State, 71–64, but fell to San Francisco State, 58–71. The results of the two games places UCSD, who is 12–4 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play, in second place behind Cal Poly Pomona (13–3).

Versus Sonoma State

The Tritons had some difficulty getting their offense started against Sonoma State. Early on, the Seawolves took a commanding lead and held the advantage for most of the game. UCSD trailed by as much as 11 in the quarter, but ultimately found a way to close the gap in the final five minutes of the half. In that five-minute span, the Tritons held Sonoma State to just four points and scored 15 of their own. The 15-point rally was led by sophomore forward Scott Everman, who was responsible for seven of the 15 points for the Tritons.

Riding the momentum into the second half, the Tritons took control of the game. Junior guard Christian Bayne carried the UCSD, scoring 21 of his career-high 28 points in the second half. Unable to contain Bayne, the Seawolves watched helplessly as the Tritons cemented a huge 11-point lead with 5:21 left in the half. UCSD held on to its lead to close out the game despite a run by Sonoma State, finishing with a seven-point lead over the Seawolves (71–64).

Three Tritons scored in double-digits: Everman (20 points), Bayne (28 points), and junior guard/forward Christian Oshita (15 points). Bayne, who led the game in scoring, earned 11 of his 28 points from the free-throw line, finishing with a perfect 11–11 from the line.

Versus San Francisco State

Offensive struggles characterized UCSD’s loss against San Francisco State. The first half was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team claiming a decisive lead. The game changed leads multiple times throughout the first half and ended in San Francisco State’s favor. Going into halftime, the Tritons were down one, 29–28.

Coming out of halftime, the game looked good for the Tritons. A jumper by Oshita and three-pointer by senior guard Anthony Ballestero gave UCSD an early 33–29 lead. This was, however, very short-lived. UCSD started missing shots, and the Gators capitalized on the Tritons’ lapse in concentration. Two layups from San Francisco State tied the game at 33–33. At this point, 17:04 left in the second half, the momentum of the game wasn’t in favor of any team. The next 10 minutes of the half moved in favor of San Francisco State, which took advantage of UCSD’s scoring troubles to gain a five-point lead.

The game picked up with 7:28 left to play, when the Gators made two more layups to take a seven-point lead (52–45). The Tritons tried to respond with a three-pointer from Oshita, but it was off the mark. With the rebound secured, San Francisco State walked down the court and initiated its offense — leading to a missed three-point attempt from one of the Gators. The Tritons were unable to box-out effectively, which led to a Gator offensive rebound and another three-point attempt. This time, San Francisco State made the three-pointer, putting the Gators up by 10 with 5:45 remaining. This sequence of events was the nail in the coffin for the Tritons, who were struggling both defensively and offensively.

In the second half, the Tritons shot a measly 10–31 (32.3 percent) from the field, unable to match the Gators, who finished 17–27 (63 percent) in the half. In spite of the team’s collective struggle, one Triton stood out: Oshita. The junior finished with his third double-double of the season, collecting 10 rebounds to go along with his game-high 21 points.

UCSD will play the best team in the CCAA, Cal Poly Pomona, this week. The Tritons will make a stand at home, facing off against the Broncos at RIMAC Arena on Friday, Feb. 9 for Spirit Night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.