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Warriors hold off Cal State Fullerton, 75-69, in Big West opener

Photo courtesy Shane Rodrigues

Eddie Stansberry scored 25 points and Drew Buggs added 17 as the University of Hawai’i basketball team defeated Cal State Fullerton, 75-69, in the Big West Conference opener for both teams at Titan Gym in Fullerton, Calif.

The Rainbow Warriors led by as many as 16 points, but had to hold off a late charge by the Titans in the final minutes. Hawai’i improved to 10-5 overall and 1-0 in conference; Fullerton dropped to 5-11 and 0-1.

Stansberry made 10 of 15 shots from the field, including 2 of 5 from 3-point range. Buggs had six rebounds and four assists to go with his 17 points. Samuta Avea added 11 points (all in the first half), and freshman Bernardo da Silva recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Hawai’i opened the game with a 5-0 lead and stayed in front the rest of the way. A 6-0 run by the Warriors increased their lead to 21-12 with 11:07 remaining in the first half.

Avea scored five points during a 10-2 surge that pushed the Hawai’i lead to 31-16 with 7:33 remaining in the half. The Warriors eventually held a 36-31 lead at halftime, with Avea (11) and Stansberry (7) combining for 18 points.

The Warriors opened the second half with a 9-2 run to increase the lead to 45-33. Hawai’i led by as many as 16 in the second half, but the Titans made it interesting late, cutting it to 67-64 with 3:09 remaining.

Two free throws by Austen Awosika with 1:06 remaining put Fullerton within one, 69-68, but Stansberry responded with a 15-foot floater on the next possession to put Hawai’i back up by three.

Buggs and Stansberry then combined to go 4 for 4 on free throws to secure the win.

The Warriors will remain on the road for another conference game at UC Irvine (8-8, 0-0) on Saturday. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Hawai’i time) and will be streamed live via ESPN3.

More details will be posted as it becomes available.

Big West Conference
Thursday’s Results
UC Riverside 65, at UC Davis 59
Hawai’i 75, at Cal State Fullerton 69

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

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