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UPDATED: Warriors will be No. 4 seed at Big West Tournament after dropping road finale at CSUN, 86-82

Photo courtesy Warren Haraki

The University of Hawai’i basketball team appeared to find its offense, but it was the defense that went missing in an 86-82 road loss at CSUN on Saturday.

A crowd of 1,624 at The Matadome in Northridge, Calif., watched a back-and-forth contest in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The Rainbow Warriors finished the regular season at 17-13 overall and tied for fourth place in the Big West Conference at 8-8. They will be the No. 4 seed for next week’s Big West Conference Championship Tournament at Anaheim, Calif., and will face No. 5 UC Davis in a quarterfinal game at 8:30 p.m. Pacific Time (5:30 p.m. Hawai’i Time).

CSUN improved to 15-17 overall and finished in a tie for second place in the Big West at 10-6. The Matadors will be the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament.

CSUN forward Lamine Diane stated his case to repeat as the conference Player of the Year with 34 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots to lead the Matadors. He scored 10 of his points in the game’s final nine minutes, when CSUN erased a 73-68 deficit.

Overshadowed in the loss were career-best scoring nights for two Warriors. Senior guard Eddie Stansberry finished with 31 points, including 7-for-14 shooting from 3-point range, and  junior forward Samuta Avea added 20 points and nine rebounds.

Justin Hemsley added 13 points, and Zigmars Raimo scored 12 for Hawai’i. The 82 points by the Warriors were the most they scored during the Big West season. However, the 86 points by CSUN were also the most by a Big West team against Hawai’i this season.

Photo courtesy Warren Haraki

It was a close game throughout, with the teams exchanging the lead 12 times.

The first half went back and forth and fittingly ended in a 47-47 tie at intermission. The Warriors went on an 11-2 run midway through the half to take a 29-20 lead. Hawai’i increased its lead to 36-26 with 6:30 remaining on a 3-pointer by Stansberry.

The Matadors got back in it with a 9-0 run to end the first half.

In the first half alone, Stansberry scored 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting, Avea scored 14 on 6-of-8 shooting, and Hemsley added 11 points on 4-for-4 shooting. The Warriors shot 62.1 percent (18 for 29) from the field in the first 20 minutes, including 50 percent (7 for 14) from 3-point range.

It was a different story in the second half, as Hawai’i shot 36.8 percent (14 for 38) from the field, and just 21.4 percent (3 for 14) from 3-point range.

Still, the game stayed close throughout the second half. The score was tied six different times in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

The Warriors took a 73-68 lead with 9:30 remaining, but CSUN responded with a 12-3 surge to take an 80-76 with 3:56 remaining. The Matadors stayed in front the rest of the way, led by the duo of Diane and Terrell Gomez. They combined to score all of CSUN’s final 18 points of the game.

Photo courtesy Warren Haraki

The Matadors finished the game shooting 49.2 percent from the field overall, including 38.9 percent (7 for 18) from 3-point range. They also went 15 for 18 from the free throw line, while the Warriors went 8 for 12. Led by Diane, CSUN also out-rebounded Hawai’i 40-31.

Gomez finished with 24 points for CSUN, which lost at Hawai’i, 80-75, earlier this season.

Stansberry established a new UH record for most 3-point attempts in a season with 249. The previous mark was 242 by Michael Kuebler during the 2003-04 season. Stansberry also has made 90 3-pointers this season, and is one of only three players in UH history to make at least 90 3-pointers in a season. The others are Zane Johnson (98 in 2010-11) and Kuebler (97 in 2003-04).

The Warriors will remain in Southern California to prepare for the Big West Conference Tournament.

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

Saturday’s Results
at Cal State Fullerton 75, Long Beach State 69
at UC Santa Barbara 69, Cal Poly 67
at UC Riverside 66, UC Davis 61
at CSUN 86, Hawai’i 82

Big West Conference Championship Tournament
Thursday’s Quarterfinals (Pacific Time)
No. 2 CSUN vs. No. 7 Cal State Fullerton, Noon
No. 3 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 6 UC Riverside, 2:30 p.m.
No. 1 UC Irvine vs. No. 8 Long Beach State, 6:00 p.m.
No. 4 Hawai’i vs. No. 5 UC Davis, 8:30 p.m.

Friday’s Semifinals
Highest remaining seed vs. Lowest remaining seed, 6:30 p.m.
Other quarterfinal winner vs. Other quarterfinal winner, 9:00 p.m.

Saturday’s Championship
Semifinal winner vs. Semifinal winner, 8:30 p.m.

1 Comment

  1. I like our matchup with UC Davis. As long as we keep the turnovers down they should get the W!

    Go Bows!

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