Pacific beats Warriors in battle for second
STOCKTON, Calif. - Pacific got its revenge, and seized control of second place in the Big West Conference with an 80-71 victory over the Hawai’i basketball team on Saturday evening at the Alex G. Spanos Center.
A month ago in Honolulu, the Tigers went 3 for 27 from 3-point range and the Warriors beat Pacific, 60-52. This time, the Tigers went an efficient 5 for 8 from beyond the arc, and also went 27 for 33 from the free-throw line to frustrate the Warriors.
Hawai’i, which dropped both games on this current road trip, fell to 15-11 overall and 9-6 in the Big West. Pacific improved to 15-10 and 9-4.
Christian Standhardinger led the Warriors with 20 points and nine rebounds. Isaac Fotu added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, and Vander Joaquim scored 10.
The crucial stretch came early in the second half, when the Tigers turned a five-point deficit into a 10-point lead with a 15-0 run.
The first half was close throughout, and the score was tied four times. The Warriors eventually took a 36-33 lead at intermission, with Standhardinger scoring 14 in the first half.
There was a scary moment late in the first half when junior guard Brandon Spearman fell awkwardly while trying to block a shot, and screamed in pain while clutching his lower left leg. He was removed from the court on a cart, but walked out of the locker room with the aid of crutches in the second half to sit on the bench with his teammates.
Brereton hit a jumper to open the second half and increase the Hawai’i lead to 38-33, but the Tigers responded with a stunning 17-0 run to take a 48-38 lead with 12:52 remaining.
The closest the Warriors got after that was seven, 61-54, with 5:47 remaining. UOP went 13 for 14 from the free-throw line in the game’s final five minutes to hold off the Warriors.
The Warriors are scheduled to return to Honolulu on Sunday and their next game will be at home – February 23 against Northern Arizona in the BracketBusters game.
More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be posted later.