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Cal State Fullerton squeezes past Hawai’i, 69-66

Cal State Fullerton rode a spectacular 40-point outburst by guard Kyle Allman, Jr. tonight to upset Hawai’i, 69-66, in thrilling Big West Conference men’s basketball action.

A spirited “Green-Out” crowd of about 6,200 at the Stran Sheriff Center watched Mike Thomas score 26 points and grab five rebounds and Jack Purchase add 11 points as the Warriors fell to 13-6 overall and 4-2 in the Big West. Cal State Fullerton improved to 12-8, 5-3.

UH held a 41-35 lead after a closely contested first half and extended it to 50-39 after a 9-2 run capped by Thomas’ layup with 13:29 remaining. But the Titans — led by Allman, Jr. raining down shots from all over — clawed back and eventually took the lead at 67-65 on Jackson Rowe’s fastbreak layup with 1:46 left.

That’s how the score remained when the Warriors gained possession with just over a half minute remaining.

Drew Buggs was fouled on a layup attempt with 12.1 ticks left, but missed his first free throw before making the second. Austen Awosika then sank both ends of a 1-and-1 on the other end to make it 69-66 one second later, and Buggs’ 3-point attempt just before the final horn was short and off the mark, with the Titans scoring the rebound.

Hawai’i will travel next week for road games at UC Santa Barbara on February 1, and at Cal Poly on February 3.

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

(Game photo courtesy Chris Kadooka)

Big West Conference
Saturday’s Results

at UC Davis 80, Cal Poly 56
UC Santa Barbara 76, at UC Riverside 69
Long Beach State 70, at CSUN 66

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