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UPDATED: Allen leads Warriors to a sweep of CSUN

If there is a team out there that is fine with the University of Hawai’i not being allowed into this year’s Big West Conference Tournament, it would be CSUN.

The Warriors – and senior Noah Allen in particular – continued their mastery of the Matadors in a 76-72 road win on Saturday night. A crowd of 1,085 at The Matadome in Northridge, Calif., watched Hawai’i beat CSUN for the second time in less than a month. The Warriors also have won their last six meetings with CSUN, including three in Northridge.

The victory gives the Warriors their first three-game winning streak of this season, including a sweep of this week’s conference road trip. Hawai’i improved to 11-11 overall and is in a tie for fourth place in the Big West Conference at 5-4.

CSUN dropped to 10-13 overall and 6-4 in conference, and had a three-game win streak snapped.

Allen scored 34 points this time, following a 30-point performance in the previous win over CSUN on January 18. The 6-foot-7 forward shot 11 for 17 from the field, including 4 for 7 from 3-point range, and 8 for 10 on free throws. He also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

“My teammates did a great job of finding me where I can be effective,” Allen said in a post-game interview on Fox Sports Prime Ticket. “The coaching staff putting me in places where I can be successful as well, so credit goes to them.”

It is Allen’s third 30-point performance of this season, and the 34 points tied the UH record for most points scored in a Big West Conference game (he was already on that list with 34 points against UC Santa Barbara on January 28.

Jack Purchase added nine points, seven rebounds and five assists. Brocke Stepteau tallied nine points, five rebounds and four assists, and freshman Matt Owies played a key role off the bench with seven points (all in the second half).

Hawai’i played the game without freshman starting guard Leland Green, who was suffering from flu-like symptoms.

CSUN jumped to a 15-8 lead to start the game, but the Warriors stayed in it behind the shooting of Allen. His 3-pointer with 5:53 remaining in the first half gave Hawai’i its first lead of the game at 25-23. It was part of a 12-3 surge that gave the Warriors a 34-26 lead with 2:43 remaining.

The Warriors eventually took a 37-33 lead at intermission, with Allen scoring 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the first half.

The Matadors went on a 9-0 surge midway through the second half to take a 48-46 lead with 11:00 remaining in the second half. CSUN built the lead to 52-47, but the Warriors refused to fold.

A driving reverse layup by Gibson Johnson put Hawai’i back in front at 58-57, and then a similar driving layup by Owies gave the Warriors a 60-57 lead with 5:27 remaining.

Back-to-back baskets by Brocke Stepteau increased the Warriors’ lead to 64-59. Owies then helped seal the win with another driving layup on offense, and then drawing a charging foul on defense with 2:32 remaining.

The Warriors went 8 for 8 from the free-throw line n the final 33 seconds to secure the win.

“Road sweeps are hard to come by so it’s a big momentum builder for us,” Allen said. “Hopefully, we use this as a bounce game and continue with the momentum going forward.”

Hawai’i shot 44.6 percent from the field, went 8 for 23 (34.8 percent) from 3-point range, and 18 for 22 (81.8 percent) from the free-throw line. CSUN shot 44.3 percent from the field, went 3 for 15 (20 percent) from 3-point range, and 15 for 21 from the free-throw line (71.4 percent).

CSUN head coach Reggie Theus said: “We had, a lot of times, a lack of ball movement offensively that caused a problem. In the game, I bet we had about four or five charge calls against us, 50-50 calls, but our guys also have to learn how to jump stop and avoid those kind of things too. Statistically, when you look at the game, there’s really no difference in our statistics. You have to give Noah Allen a lot of credit, he’s playing great right now. I told our guys before the game, if he has a great game, it’s likely we’re not going to be able to win the game. We had three guys in double figures and they had one.”

Darin Johnson led CSUN with 27 points, and Kendall Smith added 15 points and six assists.

The Warriors are scheduled to return to Honolulu on Sunday, and will play two home games this week – Cal Poly on Thursday, then UC Irvine on Saturday.

(Game photos courtesy Warren Haraki)

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

CLICK HERE to view photo gallery

Saturday’s Results
UC Riverside 67, at Cal Poly 56
UC Davis 67, at UC Santa Barbara 64
Hawai’i 76, at CSUN 72
at Long Beach State 72, UC Irvine 63

Wednesday’s Games
Cal State Fullerton at UC Davis
UC Santa Barbara at UC Irvine

Thursday’s Games
Long Beach State at UC Riverside
Cal Poly at Hawai’i, 7:00 p.m. (Hawai’i time)

5 Comments

  1. Although not stacked with talent like last year’s team, this current group have all bought into Ganot’s system which is based around discipline and fundamentals. When you can do that as a team you can go a long way despite a lack of athleticism. And that discipline is showing at the free throw line, especially in closing out games. I’m convinced that when a team follows the coaches game plan great things will happen.

  2. Great all around effort! Noah was in the zone!! Owies had some big shots! Brocke as well!!

    Purchase has been great on the boards, as well as knocking down 3’s!

    This team is coming together! They are fun to watch when they play at their potential.

    Hope they continue this momentum!

  3. We don’t have the best talent but we have coaches on staff that will bring the best out of what we’ve got and they can out coach any staff in this league. Period

  4. warrior4eva: Totally agree, and it was no more evident than yesterday. It was all smoke and mirrors (mixing and matching, trying to find the right pieces at the right time), and Noah Allen.

    I need to stop second-guessing the staff. I kept wondering why Owies, and not Lewis, was playing heavy minutes in the second half. Staying in the zone helped, and Owies stepped up and played with confidence and smarts. Loved it.

  5. The team has season 1st class seats on Noahs Ark. All Aboard!!

    Anybody notice Noah is the first to call the team into huddle on any break? That’s leadership.

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