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Warriors finish strong with 71-59 win at Cal State Fullerton

Brocke Stepteau had 21 points and seven rebounds and set a school free throw record to lead the University of Hawai’i basketball team to a 71-59 road win at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday at Titan Gym in Fullerton, Calif.

The Rainbow Warriors finished the regular season with back-to-back road wins to improve to 18-12 overall. They also finished in fourth place in the Big West Conference at 9-7.

The Warriors will be the No. 4 seed for the eight-team Big West Conference, March 14-16 at Anaheim, Calif. They will face No. 5 seed Long Beach State in a quarterfinal game on March 14.

The Titans dropped to 14-16 with their second loss to Hawai’i this season. They are 10-6 in the Big West and will be the No. 3 seed.

Stepteau shot 3 for 4 from 3-point range, and also went 8 for 8 on free throws. His streak of consecutive made free throws is now at 34, which is five more than the previous record of 29 set by Zane Johnson.

Zigmars Raimo added 12 points and six rebounds, Drew Buggs had nine points and seven rebounds, and Jack Purchase contributed nine points and six rebounds for the Warriors.

After a slow start, Hawai’i ended up shooting 42.6 percent from the field, while holding Fullerton to 41.8 percent.

More telling, the Warriors went 18 for 19 on free throws (94.7 percent), while the Titans were 7 for 11 (63.6 percent).

The Warriors fell behind 7-0 to start the game, but managed to come back and tie the score at 7 moments later. It stayed close the rest of the first half.

The Titans led by as many as nine in the first half, but the Warriors managed to cut the Fullerton lead to 34-33 at intermission. Buggs hit a running 3-pointer just before the halftime horn sounded to get Hawai’i within one.

Hawai’i took the lead early in the second half and stayed in control the rest of the way. The Warriors led by as many as 10 midway through the second half and then helf off the Titans in the closing minutes.

The Warriors played without starting guard Eddie Stansberry and reserve center Dawson Carper, who sat out with undisclosed injuries.

More details will be posted as it becomes available.

4 Comments

  1. Way to finish strong bows!! Congrats to Brocke for the free throw record.

    Hope everybody is healthy going into the tournament

  2. I don’t get this team sometimes… 95% free throw shooting today for tonight’s win… 90% free throw shooting on Thursday’s win. If anything, they’re pretty focused right now.

  3. Hawaii just beat the 2nd ranking team in the conference on the road… during THEIR Senior Night. And… without 2 important players – Stansberry and Carper.

  4. Concerning the next game against Long Beach State… Long Beach State is a dangerous matchup for anyone in the Conference… they’ve got loads of talent.

    But Hawaii’s disciplined play seems to have an affect on Long Beach. In their FIRST matchup, Long Beach committed 14 turnovers, shot just 46% (freethrows), and had just 6 assists, compared to Hawaii’s 14 assists. In the SECOND matchup, Long Beach committed 16 turnovers, compared to 9 for Hawaii… Long Beach shot 57% (freethrows) at home, and had 7 assists, compared to Hawaii’s 18 assists.

    You can argue that Long Beach has more talent than Hawaii… but they got out played by the Rainbows each time…. Yes, Hawaii’s the only team that has swept them all season, and that includes Irvine, UCSB, and Fullerton.

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