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Going Out On Top

Triton basketball teams bring home CCAA Championships en route to NCAA Division I

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Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

For the second consecutive season, the Tritons have won both the men's and women's California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Tournament title, earning them automatic bids to their respective NCAA tournaments. 

The men were looking to continue their historic run as host of the NCAA West Regional at RIMAC Arena beginning tomorrow night. On Thursday, however, the NCAA canceled its remaining winter and spring championships–including the Division II Men's Basketball West Regional scheduled to begin Friday at UC San Diego.

Competing in their final Division II season before transitioning to NCAA Division I and the Big West Conference in the fall, the UC San Diego basketball programs went out on top in the CCAA.

For the fourth straight season, the UC San Diego men's basketball program has won a CCAA tournament championship. This time, the top seed and fourth-ranked Tritons topped second seed Cal Poly Pomona, 76-62, inside RIMAC Arena on Saturday night.

“It’s always nice to be able to play at home, especially here in the tournament,” said junior guard Gabe Hadley. “The home crowd was great tonight and yesterday. Everyone turned out to support us and we needed that.”

Redshirt sophomore guard and CCAA Most Valuable Player Tyrell Roberts scored 14 and was named tournament MVP, thanks in large part to his tournament record 45-point effort in Friday's semifinal.

UC San Diego (30-1) extended its win streak to 22 straight games.

Senior forward Christian Oshita scored eight in the first half, becoming just the second UC San Diego player in the program's Division II history to score 1,500 career points.

The UC San Diego women's team won its second straight conference tournament title, beating No. 19 Cal State San Marcos, 73-62.

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Junior guard Tyla Turner drives to the basket in the CCAA women’s championship game.

With the win, the Tritons improved to 25-5 on the season. Conference MVP Julia Macabuhay led the way with a game-high 27 points on the night, knocking down five shots from beyond the arc. Macabuhay also pitched in three rebounds and a pair of assists.

“We’re not done yet, but cutting down those nets was a culmination of a lot of hard work and a lot of resiliency,” said UC San Diego head coach Heidi VanDerveer. “We talk about a process, and our team took to heart a lot of the lessons we learned along the way.”

Coming off of a triple-double in the semifinals, Tyla Turner dazzled once again. Turner finished the evening with 13 points and a game-best 13 rebounds for a double-double. The San Bernardino native's 13 boards tied her career high.

For the women, Macabuhay, Turner, and Sydney Brown all earned spots on the All-Tournament Team, while Turner was named the Tournament MVP. On the men's side, in addition to Roberts, Oshita and junior forward Marek Sullivan were named to the All-Tournament Team.

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Junior guard Mikey Howell goes for the steal in the CCAA men’s basketball championship game.

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