The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

UCSD Men’s Basketball Routs La Verne 116-57

UCSD+Men%E2%80%99s+Basketball+Routs+La+Verne+116-57
Image by Christina Bumann for The UCSD Guardian

UCSD men’s basketball (3–0, 0–0 Big West) hosted the La Verne Leopards (0–2, 0–0 SCIAC) on Monday night at LionTree Arena. La Verne opened the game strong with 5 unanswered points, but the Tritons quickly evened the score and developed a lead, never looking back.

 

Redshirt sophomore Michael Pearson Jr. gave UCSD a spark off the bench with two quick threes in the first quarter, contributing to an 8-0 run by the Tritons. Pearson Jr. was one of seven Tritons to finish the game in double figures, including forward J’Raan Brooks. The senior shot three for four from behind the arc on Monday night and finished the game with 14 points. 

 

The Tritons expanded their lead to 31–13 thanks to efficient scoring and free-throw shooting from junior forward Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones. Tait-Jones finished the game with fifteen points on four of five shooting from the field and seven of eight from the free throw line. He added six assists and three steals, capping off an excellent performance. 

 

UCSD would increase their lead to 52–28 by halftime.

 

The Tritons came out strong in the second half, extending their lead over the Leopards to 85–39. The bench played significant minutes in Monday’s beatdown, including a majority of the second half, which allowed the starters some much-needed rest. The starting lineup played heavy minutes in the first two games against Denver and USD, so fans got a chance to see the Tritons’ depth for the first time this year. 

 

The Tritons finished the game with an impressive 59-point margin of victory. UCSD shot 62% from the field, 50% from behind the arc, and 87.5% from the free throw line, all of which were season highs. The Tritons also played great defense and set season bests in steals (12), forced turnovers (20), and points allowed (57). La Verne shot an ignominious 31.9% from the field and 21.9% from three-point range, which were also both season bests for the Tritons’ defense.

 

After the game, The UCSD Guardian had a chance to sit down with Head Coach Eric Olen.

 

“I thought [the] guys off the bench really gave great minutes tonight … Sometimes when you play an opponent who is maybe not as talented as some of the other teams we have seen, it’s easy to take them for granted,” Olen said. “I thought we did a great job of embracing the minutes, and I was really pleased with our effort and our focus.”

 

Olen also spoke glowingly about Pearson Jr. and his road back from recovery.

 

“It was encouraging for Mike Pearson to come in and give us great minutes. He’s coming off a long recovery so it was really cool to see,” Olen said. “I mean, that was fun. You could look at our bench and everybody was pretty fired up for Mike, who has been grinding to get back. He’s someone who can help us as he continues to get healthier.”

 

Looking ahead to the game against Navy, Olen said, “The defensive glass has been a work in progress for us, and tonight we gave up more than we’d like. But, there’s a lot of really encouraging stuff we can build on.”

 

The Guardian also spoke with guard Camden McCormick, who finished the game with 14 points on 5/5 shooting from the field, five assists, two steals, and one block.

 

McCormick talked about the Tritons’ upcoming game against Navy. 

 

“They are tough and disciplined,” he said. “We have to do the little things right — defend at a high level, rebound, and play with pace.”

 

The Tritons extended their win streak to four games with a win over Navy on Saturday, and will look to make it five in a row on Friday against the University of Idaho at 3 p.m.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Wyatt Bose
Wyatt Bose, Staff Writer
Wyatt is a first-year political science student, an ardent sports-watcher, an impassioned Philadelphia sports fan, and the founder of his sports blog, "The Cogent Column."
More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
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.

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
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 *