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UCSB takes Hawai’i again, 79-61

The University of Hawai’i basketball team found its nemesis and couldn’t find enough rally points in a 79-61 loss at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday.

A crowd of 1,877 at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, Calif., and a national audience watching on ESPNU saw the Gauchos score a convincing win over the Rainbow Warriors for the second time this month.

The Warriors dropped to 16-10 overall 7-5 in the Big West Conference. The Gauchos improved to 18-8 and 7-5. The teams are tied for third place in the conference standings, but UCSB holds the tie-breaker advantage by virtue of its two wins over Hawai’i.

The Warriors’ two biggest losses of the Big West season have come at the hands of the Gauchos – UCSB also beat Hawai’i, 75-54, in Honolulu on Feb. 2.

“I think we can do better, but obviously, two games they’ve taken it to us,” UH head coach Eran Ganot said in a post-game radio interview on ESPN 1420 AM.

The Warriors fell behind early, and despite making several runs, could never catch up to the Gauchos.

“We weren’t ready to go,” Ganot said. “The way we came out of the gate, they took it to us and we kind of disrespected the game with our approach. We got what we deserved. I appreciate our guys fighting back several times to make it a game … but we have to stop doing that at this level.”

Zigmars Raimo scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting to lead the Warriors. Drew Buggs added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Brocke Stepteau, Jack Purchase and Eddie Stansberry scored nine points each.

Hawai’i shot a respectable 47.2 percent (25 for 53) from the field, but only 28.6 percent (6 for 21) from 3-point range. UCSB shot 50 percent from the field (28 for 56) and 25 percent (4 for 16) from 3-point range.

Of note, the Warriors were just 5 for 10 on free throws, while the Gauchos were 19 for 24. UCSB also out-rebounded Hawai’i, 35-28, and the Warriors committed 16 turnovers.

“We gave up 40 points off turnovers and second chance (points),” Ganot said. “I thought our defense was solid in the first half and for stretches in the game, but the turnovers … they capitalized.”

Hawai’i actually scored first, taking a 2-0 lead on Raimo’s basket in the opening minute. The Gauchos took over after that. A 17-2 run gave UCSB a 17-4 lead with 11:58 remaining in the first half.

The Warriors fell behind by as many as 14 in the first half, and trailed 30-19 at intermission.

Hawai’i opened the second half by shooting 6 for 6 from the field, including three 3-pointers by Stansberry, to cut the UCSB lead to 39-34.

That was as close as it would get. A 13-3 surge by the Gauchos put them comfortably ahead at 54-39 with 10:09 remaining.

“We weren’t ready offensively,” Ganot said. “That’s a bad habit we have because we shot a bad percentage and we turned it over. The second half was more like us – we were playing with purpose. We keep having these stretches where we’re stuck in mud. The mark of our team and how successful we are this season will be determined by our consistency, and right now we’re inconsistent at times.

Amadou Sow led the Gauchos with 18 points and eight rebounds, and Ar’mond Davis added 14 points and seven rebounds.

Hawai’i will remain on the road for another Big West game – Saturday at last-place Cal Poly.

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

Big West Conference
Thursday’s Results
at UC Irvine 74, Cal Poly 47
at Cal State Fullerton 62, UC Davis 58
at UC Santa Barbara 79, Hawai’i 61

Saturday’s Games
Long Beach State at UC Riverside
Cal State Fullerton at UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis at CSUN
Hawai’i at Cal Poly

1 Comment

  1. Position for BWC tournament .3 wins and warriors NCAA bound!
    Finish 3,4 or 5.

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