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Cal Poly shoots down Warriors in OT, 61-57

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Reese Morgan swished a 3-pointer from the right corner with 6.6 seconds remaining in overtime and then sealed the victory with two free throws with 2.7 ticks on the clock tonight to lift visiting Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to a stunning 61-57 victory over Hawai’i in the Big West Conference men’s basketball opener for both teams.

An enthusiastic crowd of about 5,700 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched UH’s Aaron Valdes score 20 points and grab six rebounds as the Rainbow Warriors fell to 12-5. The Mustangs, who represented the Big West in last year’s NCAA Tournament, improved to 8-5.

UH led, 55-54, after Valdes’ two free throws with 1:47 remaining, but Cal Poly took the lead back at 56-55 on Brian Bennett’s layup in traffic with 1:15 left. After the Rainbow Warriors lost the ball on their next possession, Valdes got a steal and threw a lead pass to Roderick Bobbitt, who scored on a breakaway layup to put Hawai’i ahead, 57-56, with 35.3 showing on the clock.

But Morgan answered with his go-ahead 3-pointer and then sank the game-sealing free throws after a Rainbow Warriors turnover on the ensuing possession.

Cal Poly led, 38-29, after Bennett’s tricky layup in traffic with 13:54 remaining. But Mike Thomas’ putback started UH on an 18-4 run capped by Quincy Smith’s layup on a cut to the basket that put the Rainbow Warriors up, 47-42, with 5:12 left.

The Mustangs regained the lead at 49-47 when Reese Morgan swished a 23-footer from the top of the arc with 2:49 remaining, but Hawai’i took it back at 51-49 on Negus Webster-Chan’s 3-pointer with 1:50 remaining. Cal Poly then tied it at 51-51 on Bennett’s layup with 1:16 left.

After the teams traded turnovers, the Rainbow Warriors turned it over on their final possession of regulation when Roderick Bobbitt lost the ball out of bounds on a drive to the basket with 5.3 seconds remaining. The Mustangs then advanced the ball to Morgan on the left wing, but his 22-footer glanced off the rim as the horn sounded.

Cal Poly led at halftime, 30-23, after an ugly 20 minutes. The Mustangs jumped out to leads of 14-2, 16-4 and 18-6 before Hawai’i finally got untracked — sort of. An 8-2 run started by Webster-Chan and capped by Roderick Bobbitt’s layup off Valdes’ steal cut it to 20-14 with 5:29 remaining in the first half, and the Rainbow Warriors later closed to 26-22 on Valdes’ layup off Webster-Chan’s assist.

But Bennett swished a tough 18-foot fadeaway from the left corner as the shot clock expired with 57 seconds left, and Ridge Shipley ended the half with a layup with 6.6 seconds remaining to put the Mustangs ahead 30-23 at the break.

UH made just 6 of 25 field goals (24 percent) in the first half, including just 1 of 7 from 3-point range, and was out-rebounded 24 to 18.

Hawai’i will return to the Sheriff Center on Saturday, when it hosts Cal State Northridge in another Big West game.

More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be posted later.

12 Comments

  1. Hawaii actually did a decent job in neutralizing Nwaba… but Bennett was a BEAST… and that Reese Morgan sure reminds me a lot of Chris Herron of Fresno State…. he would always kill Hawaii late in the game.

    GAME OBSERVATIONS:

    1. We really missed Garrett Nevels’ clutch play and senior leadership…

    2. Isaac Flemming has to do a better job letting the game come to him, instead of forcing it… I don’t think he’s ready as a starter yet.

    3. Hawaii has to develop a better half-court offense.

    4. Hawaii’s big guys have to play tougher against BIG post up guys… it gets worse when they have to face Alan Williams of Santa Barbara.

    5. Hawaii has to LEARN from this game and get mentally tougher and cut down mental lapses late in games… that takes maturity… we’ll be okay… but they have to make this loss up by stealing one on the road.

  2. Basically…team resilient, new guys to heavy conference minutes, new and returnees.
    UH MBB , that defense unreal…otherwise team could have lost by 15 points or more
    agree, Nevels missed, Thomas, Janks and Jovanovich have to play as well down low as Bennett…that guy killed them
    the mature experienced well coached team , just hit big time shots
    UH will learn, never lost 2 games in a row this year..
    hey 15- 19 games before selection sunday in march..and we all know poly peaked in bwc tourney, made dance..

    Go Bows, young team will learn..they don’t have nevels so have to win smart without him

    Just one loss…which should have been a win

    No problem team will get better…janks on post game tv show said team should have been better mentally and physically prepared
    now they know..each bwc game ..a war..
    they will be alright!!

  3. Bennett has a deadly touch around the basket . Morgan only 3 for 12 n FG’s, but it seemed he hit the crucial ones and he doesn’t miss on the FT line, 8 for 8 .

  4. I’ll agree with all that Njacinto referred to as his game assessment. I would like to add to his list and perhaps my number one concern, what happen to the stellar point play of Bobbit? The last three games he has had a horrible assist to turnover ratio. Instead of directing the flow, look like Bows are playing a Manson kind of game, Helter Skelter. A tough loss. Go Bows!

  5. Wonder if Rod is hurt (the broken arm)or still sick?
    Fans no panic still 15 games left..
    they play great perimeter pressure D, have to know where 3 ball shooters are
    so close, if Rod end of regulation came to jump stop and laid ball in..UH could have won regulation.
    is only one loss
    looks like really balanced league any team can win
    Aaron Valdes all BWC type player, need another 2 or three like him
    I tell you fans, no quit in team, great crowd, just have to learn how to win bwc games
    first half if Team is 5-3 or even 4-4, no problem..now we see benjy adjustments
    fleming very talented..however , miss nevels, so what going to do out and moan?
    Nope, this team they will learn, I bet isaac is still sick, including several others

    Team finish 8-8. to 10-6..great season and poised to win bwc tourney
    one game at a time..
    garrett take care , rehab well
    team will win several games before you are back..now they know what it takes!!
    Go Bows!!
    🙂

  6. BM says crowd booed after game ended…why? They give up on young team..sheesh!
    Saturday be here fast, team can get first conference win…have to get more physical

    Eagle and others at game, why UH MBB fans booed at end of game, or did BM hear wrong?
    don’t give up on guys!

  7. I stayed until the end and I didn’t hear any boos. Maybe the referees were booed when they left the court. As they should have been.

  8. UH will bounce back Saturday as horrible as they played as a team they still could have won.

  9. bigdaddy: You are right, this team, they are fighters, tough, they will learn and get win on Saturday. The BWC is pretty balanced, 1-9 can beat one another on any given night home or on the road, that was how it was past 3 years.

    Without Garrett, team has to find a way to win. They should have won game, up by 5, and 3 down late… Well what can you do.. past already, clear and go.. next CSUN.. and UH has to get their first BWC win which will give team confidence..
    The guys starting, even Thomas and Valdes, virtually no PT, very little last BWC season, so new to them, Bobbitt new to DI ball as PG, refs let a lot of physical things go on, so UH has to get physical too, untill refs start calling it.. also, making sure the BWC bigs, has some good smart ones like Bennett, don’t get the putbacks and ones..
    UH , I still think can win 9, 10, 11 games, long season. who is hot and peaking in March BWC tourney time, key !!

  10. HawaiiMongoose: Is it tabloid blogging, tweets? from BM.. check out his blog, at sound of buzzer, after Reese Morgan sealed game, and that last 2 seconds or so turnover, the miscommunication.. I am just guessing.. BM says, at sound of horn.. crowd boos.. you are right, Cal Poly so physical, and we could see on TV monitors, that one play toward end of OT, the Cal Poly guy trapped by 2 UH guys on their baseline corner, the guy travelled and also stepped out of bounds.. I give BM the benefit of the doubt.. HawaiiMongoose… crowd probably booing the refs for missing some key calls that went against UH.. Well, what can we DO? Just cheer on the guys, they never lost 2 games back to back in 17 games, so I anticipate they can still go on a 4 game winning streak, get CSUN on Sat, then next week Riverside, then the early season showdown against Davis and Irvine at Stan Sheriff Center end of January at SSC. So much more season to go.. Fans don’t give up.

    Go Rainbow Warriors.. smart team, sick and rehabbing team, short a senior team, however they will rally and get first win against CSUN.. this team on a mission, just sidetracked one game, have to steal one on the road..

    Go Bows !!

  11. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.

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