Point Loma and UCSD squared off in a local regular season game on Tuesday, November 14th at Golden Gymnasium in Point Loma. Coming into the game, UCSD (0-2) was trying to obtain its first win of the season, while Point Loma (2-2) was looking for a big win after losing a couple of heart-breakers early in its season.
After last season’s 14-point loss to UCSD, Point Loma was looking for a different outcome in this year’s matchup.
Although UCSD lost a lot of firepower from last season, most specifically graduating CCAA Player of the Year Adam Klie, Point Loma was still going to have its hands full with an athletic UCSD team filled with multiple scoring weapons.
As was expected, UCSD controlled the first half of the game with a balanced scoring attack. The Tritons shot 55.2 percent from the field, and set the pace of the game from the tip-off. With a methodical half-court offense, the Tritons offense slowly wore down the Point Loma defense in the first half.
After a dagger UCSD 3-pointer by Eric Patton to end the half, the Tritons led the Lions 37-28.
Although Point Loma was only down by nine, it felt as if the Lions were just hanging around in the first 20 minutes. They struggled offensively, shooting 44.4 percent from the field and just 3 for 10 from 3-point range.
However, a different Point Loma team came out of the locker room in the second half. This team looked more energized and started to develop some rhythm offensively.
With 12:14 remaining in the second half, Preston Beverly connected on a 3-pointer to give the Lions a 49-46 lead, their first lead since the first few minutes of the first half.
Point Loma’s renewed energy and momentum continued, as they extended their lead to five after a layup by Tyler White.
However, UCSD shortly responded, and it was your classic back-and-forth basketball game the rest of the second half.
As a fan of basketball, it was fun to watch.
Both teams were focused on both ends of the floor, and it was all about execution. With excellent ball movement through their motion offenses, it was clear that the team who best executed late in the game would win the game.
Although Point Loma shot just 3 for 10 from 3-point range in the first half, a 3-point barrage erupted in the second half, particularly by Tanner Nelson.
After Anthony Ballestro’s 3-pointer put UCSD ahead with 2:24 remaining, Nelson responded right back with a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game at 64-64.
UCSD then took the lead with a couple of made free throws and with 0:23 seconds remaining in the game, UCSD led Point Loma 68-64.
Point Loma elected to go to the hoop, instead of settling for a 3-pointer. Point Loma point guard Josh Rodriguez attacked the paint quickly on the offensive end and got fouled, going to the free throw line.
He made the first, and missed the second on purpose.
After the ball bounced off the back of the rim, Point Loma forward Luke Lovelady leaped off the floor and snatched the offensive rebound.
After Point Loma settled the ball outside of the 3-point line, Point Loma Coach Ryan Looney called a timeout with 0:12 seconds remaining. However, after the time out, Point Loma was unable to inbound the ball and the refs called a five-second violation due to great defensive denial by UCSD.
In a game that can be best summarized by two completely different halves, UCSD escaped with a 70-68 victory in another heart-crushing defeat for the Lions.
Tanner Nelson had a team-high 14 points for Point Loma, shooting 3 for 6 from beyond the arc, as well as grabbing six rebounds.
Christian Oshita and Christian Bayne each contributed 14 points apiece for UCSD.
Since this game, UCSD has won two out of its last three games and is now 3-3 on the season. Point Loma has won its last three games, and is now 5-3 on the year.
Point Loma vs. California Miramar 11/28 (exhibition)
UCSD vs. Cal State Bernardino (11/30)