The UC San Diego men’s basketball team once again knocked out its opponent with the one-two punch.
If Tim Rapp wasn’t scoring from the outside, Rick Batt was shooting from the inside.
The combination helped UCSD defeat La Verne, 103-72, Wernesday at Triton Gym.
Rapp scored 26 points, all in the first half, matching his average. He shot twice in the second half but was taken out of the game after three minutes of play.
Rapp, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, was nine-for-15 from the field, four-for-five from three-point range, and four-for-six from the line. Rapp led UCSD (7-0) with five rebounds.
“Tim has been playing very well,” UCSD Coach Tom Marshall said. “His average doesn’t depict how good he really is, because I usually take him out in the second half.
“We pride ourselves on depth, and I’m really pleased to see the second five that came in in the second half maintained the point spread.”
After Rapp left the game, Batt, who had just four points in the first half, picked up the slack, scoring 12 consecutive points at the start of the second half to break open a 26-point lead (77-49) for UCSD.
Batt, who totalled 18 points and three rebounds, left the game with 10 minutes remaining.
“In the second half, they decided to deny me the ball and face-guard me,” Rapp said. “Rick was able to score from the inside. The key to our game in the inside/outside combination.”
The Tritons, ranked third in the nation in Division III, never trailed once they took a 19-18 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the first half.
By halftime, UCSD had a 54-35 lead.
The Tritons were a bit sluggish, trailing 7-1, in the opening two minutes of the game but Marshall said that once Tom Shawcroft hit two three-pointers, helping to bring UCSD within two, his team’s momentum picked up.
Shawcroft, a senior and a Granite Hills’ graduate, ended with 18 points and made alkl four of his three-point attempts.
“Coach got on us because we were kind of lackadaisical at the start,” Rapp said. “But after five or six minutes, we made a concerted effort to put the press on them and kept them from scoring.”
La Verne (4-4) was led by Ross Wilkins, who scored 24 points and had 18 rebounds.