CARSON, Calif. — James McCann scored five consecutive points down the stretch to lift UC San Diego to a 61-59 victory against No. 13 Cal State Dominguez Hills in a California Collegiate Athletic Association matchup on Friday at the Torodome.
The Tritons trailed by 10 midway through the second half, but came roaring back to upset the Toros and snap a three-game losing streak. UCSD shot 48 percent in the decisive second half, outscoring CSUDH 34-29 in the period to record its biggest win of the season.
UCSD improved to 11-14 overall and 6-13 in CCAA play. The Tritons, who entered Friday’s game in 10th place in the CCAA standings, remain in the hunt for a berth in next month’s conference tournament with the win. UCSD will go for the season sweep of Cal State L.A. on Saturday evening in Los Angeles.
Cal State Dominguez Hills fell to 19-4 overall and 15-4 in the CCAA with the loss. The Toros have now dropped three of their last six after starting the season 16-1.
“We had a great week of practice and it carried over into tonight,” head coach Chris Carlson said. “I am very proud of our effort. We’ve showed great heart throughout all the adversity we’ve experienced. We beat a very good, well-coached team tonight.”
Justin Brue scored a game-high 17 points for the Tritons, who registered their first road win since Jan. 3. He finished 7 of 11 from the field and grabbed five rebounds in a team-high 30 minutes. Tyler McGrath scored 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting off the bench, while Casey Ryan tallied eight points and 11 rebounds.
McCann finished just 2 of 7 from the field for eight points, but came up huge in the waning moments, hitting a jumper to cut the Toros’ lead to one with two minutes left and then draining three free throws with 1:05 remaining to put UCSD in front for good.
Michael Cox scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Toros, while Robert Willhite finished with 13 points and six boards. Tim McLaurin chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds.
The Tritons shot just 35 percent in the first half, but hit 12 of 25 field goals in the second to finish at 41 percent for the game. The Toros shot 46 percent from the field, hitting 12 of 28 shots in the second stanza after dropping 13 of 26 in the first.
Dominguez held a 47-37 advantage with 12:35 remaining, but McGrath hit a 3-pointer and Brue knocked down a baseline jumper to bring UCSD to within five. After a McLaurin layup, Brue scored five straight points to bring the Tritons to within two. His three-point play made it 49-47.