Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UC Riverside edges Warriors in closing seconds, 70-68

Game photo courtesy Julie Kim

The University of Hawai’i basketball team was less than a minute away from returning to Honolulu in first place in the Big West Conference. Instead, UC Riverside out-scored the Rainbow Warriors 5-0 in the game’s final 34 seconds to take the 70-68 victory.

Arinze Chidom provided the final dagger, scoring on a hook shot in the paint with 2.1 seconds remaining to give the Highlanders the win on Saturday at the SRC Arena in Riverside, Calif.

The teams split the Big West series, with Hawai’i taking the opener on Friday, 88-83. Hawai’i dropped to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference. The Highlanders improved to 4-2 and 1-1.

The loss overshadowed a standout performance by UH senior forward Casdon Jardine, as well as a spirited second half comeback by the Warriors. Jardine, a 6-foot-7 transfer from Utah Valley, scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He shot 10 for 12 from the field, including 4 of 4 from 3-point range.

Jardine’s difficult turn-around jumper gave the Warriors momentum and a 68-65 lead with 53 seconds remaining. But the Highlanders responded with a 3-pointer by Jock Perry with 34 seconds remaining to tie it at 68-all. Perry, a 7-foot-1 center, was left alone in the corner for the open look.

On Hawai’i’s ensuing possession, Justin Webster missed a 3-pointer, and the Highlanders were awarded the loose ball rebound.

On UCR’s final possession, Chidom isolated in the post against UH’s 7-foot center, Mate Colina. The 6-9 Chidom received the pass, then scored on a jump hook.

Hawai’i called a timeout, then Webster’s final attempt from half-court was way off the mark as the final horn sounded.

The frustrating finish foiled a rally from 12 points down in the second half by the Warriors.

UCR led by as many as nine in the first half, and eventually took a 35-34 lead at halftime. The Highlanders opened the second half with a stunning 12-1 run, shooting 5 for 5 from the field, to increase their lead to 47-35 with 17:25 remaining.

Game photo courtesy Julie Kim

The Warriors chipped away at the deficit, and eventually caught the Highlanders with 8:14 remaining when Biwali Bayles converted two free throws to tie the score at 56. On UH’s next possession, Jardine drained a long 3-pointer to give the Warriors a 59-56 lead.

It was part of an 11-2 run that turned a five-point deficit into a 60-56 advantage for Hawai’i with seven minutes remaining.

Three reserves – Bayles, Jovon McClanahan and Colina – played key roles in the second-half rally.

Junior Madut, who scored 21 in Friday’s win, scored nine points in Saturday’s loss, and Webster and Bayles scored seven each for the Warriors. Senior center James Jean-Marie, who scored 24 in Friday’s win, added six points on 2-of-8 shooting.

Hawai’i shot 46.4 percent from the field, while UCR shot 50 percent. The Warriors out-rebounded the Highlanders, 33-29. After committing just seven turnovers in Friday’s opener, the Warriors committed 15 on Saturday. Those 15 turnovers led directly to 21 points for UCR.

Hawai’i will return to Honolulu for a two-game series with CSU Bakersfield on January 15 and 16 at the SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center. CSUB, which is in its first season in the Big West, swept a home series from Cal Poly and is 3-1 in conference games.

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Big West Conference
Saturday’s Results

at UC Riverside 70, Hawai’i 68
at Cal State Fullerton 75, Long Beach State 72 (OT)
CSU Bakersfield 67, Cal Poly 50
*UC Irvine 79, at UC San Diego 65
UC Davis at UC Irvine, canceled
CSUN at UC San Diego, canceled

*Non-conference game

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