Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors close regular season with 68-60 win at Cal State Fullerton

The University of Hawai’i gained some needed momentum with a 68-60 road victory at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday.

Gibson Johnson and Drew Buggs each finished with 15 points and five rebounds to lead the Rainbow Warriors to victory in the regular-season finale for both teams. Jack Purchase added 10 points and nine rebounds, Leland Green scored 10, and Mike Thomas had nine points and five rebounds for the Warriors.

Hawai’i improved to 17-12 overall and 8-8 in the Big West Conference. The Warriors will be either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed – pending the outcomes of Saturday’s late games – for next week’s Big West Conference Tournament. Interestingly, Hawai’i went 1-1 against all of the other eight teams in the conference.

Cal State Fullerton dropped to 17-11 and 10-6, and will be the No. 4 seed for the Big West Tournament.

The Warriors broke away from the Titans late in the second half, then sealed the game with free throws in the final minute.

The first half was close throughout, and the teams exchanged the lead six times in the first 16 minutes. The Warriors seized momentum with a 7-0 run that gave them a 32-27 lead late in the first half.

Hawai’i eventually took a 34-29 lead at intermission, with Mike Thomas, Gibson Johnson and Drew Buggs scoring seven points each.

The focus of the game shifted at halftime, when an equipment failure was discovered on one of the basket supports. The game was delayed for nearly one hour while the baskets on both ends of the court were changed.

Once the second half started, the Warriors showed no ill effects. A 3-pointer by Purchase increased the Hawai’i lead to 46-39 with 15:59 remaining.

The Titans responded with an 8-0 surge to take a 47-46 lead with 9:09 remaining, and the game stayed close after that.

Green departed the game with 5:15 remaining with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.

The game was tied at 50 and 52, then the Warriors took the lead for good at 54-52 on two free throws by Buggs with 4:04 remaining. Buggs and Johnson then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to increase the Hawai’i lead to 60-53 with 2:05 remaining.

Kyle Allman led the Titans with 18 points. He scored 40 in Fullerton’s victory at Hawai’i in January.

More details will be reported as it becomes available.

(Game photos courtesy Warren Haraki)


  1. Awrite!! Way to go guys! Leland came through finally on the scoring end and made a difference. This is what we needed to see going into tournament play, Important for Gib, Leland , and Jack to help out on the scoring end We need that from the bigs every night double digits. !!! Go Warriors !

  2. Green stepped up early with his shooting and defense on Allman, but I thought Buggs was huge, particularly since he sat the entire second half Thursday. The “injury” didn’t seem to affect him today. Thought he was a key in containing Allman after Green left, not to mention 15 points and 5 rebounds.

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