FULL GAME NOTES
FIRST THINGS FIRST
After a nine-day layoff to take final exams, the UC San Diego men’s basketball team returns to the court as California Collegiate Athletic Association play resumes this week. The Tritons will host Cal State East Bay in their conference home opener on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m., before welcoming Humboldt State to town for a 2:30 matinee on Sunday. As al- ways, both games will follow the women’s contests and take place at RIMAC Arena on the UCSD campus.
FOR THE RECORD
UCSD enters Tuesday’s matchup with Cal State East Bay with an overall record of 5-3 and an 0-2 mark in the CCAA after falling to Cal State Monterey Bay and San Francisco State to open league play December 3-4. The Tritons had won three straight and five of their first six overall before losing to the Otters and Gators on the road. The 5-1 start was program’s best in 11 seasons at the Division II level and marked UCSD’s best mark through six games since the 1998-99 squad won its first nine games of the season.
SLOW STARTS COST UCSD AGAINST CSUMB, SFSU
The Tritons struggled out of the gates against Cal State Monterey Bay and San Francisco State and it cost them in both games. UCSD trailed by as many as 14 points in the opening period in the 75-72 loss to the Otters and fell behind by 21 in the first half of the 78-60 setback to the Gators the following evening. The Tritons were a combined 12-for-36, 33%, in both halves and went into the locker room with deficits of 13 points (36-23) and 19 points (38-19), respectively. The Tritons did win the second half in both contests, but they were unable to overcome the sizeable first half deficits and suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in 2010-11.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS AND LUMBERJACKS
• Cal State East Bay comes to town with an overall record of 2-4 after defeating Notre Dame de Namur, 77-66, on Sat- urday afternoon in Hayward. The Pioneers are also searching for their first league win following losses to San Francisco State (79-54) and Cal State Monterey Bay (67-60) two weeks ago. Sophomore guard Mark Samuels is the Pioneers’ lead- ing scorer at 17.0 points per night, while also averaging team-highs of 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists through six games. Senior forward Will Freedman is having a productive season thus far as well, averaging 15.0 points and 4.0 boards per game. He is also shooting a team-high 55% (38-69) from the field. The Pioneers currently rank eighth in the CCAA aver- aging 67.2 points per game offensively, while their defense is ranked last, allowing 79.5 on the other end.
• Humboldt State owns a 6-1 overall record and a 2-1 mark in CCAA play after knocking off Sonoma State by a 96-82 margin on Saturday. The Lumberjacks bounced back with a strong performance at home against the Seawolves after suf- fering their only loss of the season, a 73-58 setback at Cal State Stanislaus, on December 4. Junior forward Randy Hunter is averaging a team-high 16.1 points on 65% shooting and hauling in 6.1 rebounds, while junior guard Brandon Sperling is not far behind at 15.9 points and 4.0 boards. HSU owns the CCAA’s top-ranked offense at 84.3 points per game, while the defense is allowing 69.4, a figure that ranks 10th. The Lumberjacks will face the Tritons in their only game this week.
HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH CSUEB, HSU
UCSD has won three of the five previous meetings with Cal State East Bay and trails the all-time series with Humboldt State, 3-9. The Tritons swept the Pioneers in their first season as a member of the CCAA in 2009-10, picking up a 70-50 victory in Hayward on December 15 and then winning the February 16 rematch in La Jolla, 67-48. UCSD went 0-2 against HSU last season, falling to the Lumberjacks by a 74-60 margin in Arcata on January 21 and suffering an 87-69 defeat at RIMAC on February 26 to conclude the season.