Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Cal State Fullerton wins Big West Tournament championship

Cal State Fullerton defeated UC Irvine, 71-55, to win the championship game of the Big West Conference Tournament on Saturday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Titans went 3-0 as the No. 4 seed in the tournament and improved to 20-11 overall. They will represent the Big West in the NCAA Tournament. Fullerton is a No. 15 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament, and will face No. 2 seed Purdue in the first round on March 16.

UC Irvine, which was the No. 3 seed, dropped to 18-17.

Kyle Allman Jr. scored 26 points, and Khalil Ahmad added 23 to lead the Titans to their second Big West championship (the other came in 2008).

Fullerton had a 29-25 lead at halftime, then pulled away in the second half. Ahmad (21) and Allman (16) combined to score 37 of the Titan’s 42 points in the second half.

In the last eight years of the Big West Conference Tournament, eight different teams have won the championship – UC Santa Barbara (2011), Long Beach State (2012), Pacific (2013), Cal Poly (2014), UC Irvine (2015), Hawai’i (2016), UC Davis (2017), and now Cal State Fullerton.

Former University of Hawai’i athletic director Jim Donovan is now the athletic director at Cal State Fullerton.

The Warriors’ 2017-18 season came to a close on Thursday after a heartbreaking 68-67 loss to UC Irvine in the quarterfinals of the Big West Tournament. Head coach Eran Ganot confirmed the next day that the team would not be seeking participation in any of the “pay to play” postseason tournaments, such as the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) or the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). Hawai’i finished with a 17-13 record.


  1. Big West EIGHTH Champion In Eight Years…

    More Like WAC-ky

    This is First Full Recruiting Season for Ganot & Company
    (RE: On NCAA Fake-Probation thru week before last year’s Big West Tourney
    VeryThankful for The FBI — Break Up the Big-Five B.S.)

    Tougher Schedule Next Year (as some requested)
    Already Loading Up On Bigs (as some / many of you requested);
    Good Ones, already drawing comments from NBA Developmental League Scouts…

    Other than Several Sophomore Playing Year Slumps
    Amazing skills improvement on team; many returnees;

    See IF We Think So in a Year
    Cue Up The Start of The Hawai’i-Ganot Dynasty…

    Go’Bows !

  2. Expect Fullerton and Irvine to be contending against next season. Irvine returns every scholarship player while Fullerton loses just one.

  3. Sobering,

    agree Eagle and clyde with expectations(hope) for next year. Still Eagle , Eran has to recruit or evaluate what he has coming back like every coach does in spring. Fullerton, Irvine, Davis and Santa Barbara had some dynamic guards, who were a step ahead in second half and into BWC tournament than the UH warrior guards. Like Drew Buggs, he is a really good point guard. Need, scoring guards and wings, The Smalls. Eran says he has One scholarship to offer.

    Hope he lands a really great one. It will be as clyde says, really trying to stay with the other top 4 teams. They are very young , and reloading. Funny , UH always had great guards, and bigs not too great, however past few years, good bigs, and not as consistent guards. Love Leland and Brocke, Sheriff under control too. Eran and coaches Recruit like anything, and UH will be in the hunt to go to NIT or NCAA’s. I am confident. . Recruiting the name of the game in DI ball !
    Go Rainbow Warriors !!

  4. Hey fellow fans. Know of any possible gets that Eran is working on? Recruiting part of season past 40 years… always fun part !
    Go Bows !

  5. Happy for coach Taylor.

    Can’t wait for next season!

    Hope the Bows have a good workout this summer to improve their game!

    Go Bows!!!!

  6. Congrats to Fullerton. We can only wish them the best in the NCAA tourney. As Big Drink mentioned, I’m stoked too for coach Taylor.

    Hopefully our recruits will do well. Hopefully Ido can improve vastly during the off-season. Hopefully Hemsley and the other redshirt player (can’t remember his name) can contribute a bit next season too.

  7. Eran has to recruit solid good athletic smart BB IQ hoopsters. from Positions 1 through 5. He has to be honest. I think Eran is running into real wall in trying to recruit top talent, or even skilled lower end talent to Manoa. He should hire a really great West coast recruiter. Get on the talent, from 8th grade on. Know that Mike Thomas was a number one get for UH as a frosh. Turned out to be a good one. Eran is a very good time management and defensive scheme, and working with big men on rebounding coach, and his staff. He needs those excellent guards, like the UH teams of 1972 NCAA team, the 1994 NCAA team, the 2001, 2002 consecutive NCAA bound teams, and that 2015-16 NCAA 28 win team. What they all had in common? Really great, smart guards, and wings. plus they had been together at least 2 to 3 years. Eran knows what to do. Should be exciting, However ONLY one scholarship to offer, he should hold out till school starts to secure the next AC Carter or Trevor Ruffin/ Troy Bowe. Chris Gaines, Phil Lott, Savovic, English, Campbell, etc.. really good guards and small forwards like AV, Sueing, Sensley..etc.. His team would win the BWC next year if he could recruit guys like that. Can be done. Go Bows !

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