Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors unable to rebound in second loss to CSU Bakersfield, 83-72

The University of Hawai’i basketball team could not rebound – figuratively and otherwise – and thus lost to CSU Bakersfield for the second time in as many nights on Saturday.

Photo courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com

The Roadrunners controlled the boards in an 83-72 victory over the Rainbow Warriors in a Big West Conference game at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

CSUB is in its first year in the Big West, and already making an immediate impact at 9-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference. Hawai’i dropped to 3-3 overall and 1-3 in the Big West with its third consecutive loss.

“Disappointing loss, disappointing week here,” Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot said. “Hopefully it creates something that we can learn from, and I will continue to believe that we will. But it’s certainly tough at this moment.”

CSUB took control of the game midway through the first half, and never allowed the Warriors to get within striking range of the lead the entire second half. A 39-20 advantage in rebounding helped allow the Roadrunners to maintain the lead.

After shooting just 33 percent from the field in Friday’s 60-55 loss to CSUB, the Warriors shot 48 percent on Saturday. However, a nine-minute stretch without a field goal in the first half proved to be too much for Hawai’i to overcome.

“They do a good job getting teams out of their offense,” Ganot said of CSUB’s defense. “That was disappointing because our execution over the years has been really good. We were on our heels and we also had some key lapses.”

Overshadowed in the loss was a career-high 23 points from Hawai’i sophomore guard Justin Webster. He shot 7 for 11 from the field, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range, and also collected a career-high six steals. He entered the game averaging 11.0 points per game.

“I’ve been struggling to score the basketball, but it felt good to actually put the ball in the hoop today,” he said. “Unfortunately we couldn’t get a win with it, but I feel like I finally caught some type of rhythm and hopefully this rhythm carries on for the rest of the season.”

Senior center James Jean-Marie added 14 points, but was limited to 17 minutes due to foul trouble. He was limited to five minutes in the first half after being assessed two fouls, and his absence was evident.

Photo courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com

“We played without James before and Mate (Colina) has given us a lift, but James obviously presents some matchup issues,” Ganot said. “For a stretch, we were able to hang in defensively, but we really struggled to score and he gives us something different.”

The Warriors opened the game by hitting three consecutive 3-pointers – two by Junior Madut and one by Webster – for a 9-0 lead.

Hawai’i had a 13-5 lead with 15:33 remaining, but then went more than nine minutes without making a field goal. During that stretch, the Roadrunners went on a 20-2 surge to take a 25-15 lead with 6:23 remaining. The Warriors’ only two points during that stretch came on 2 for 5 shooting on free throws.

Freshman Beon Riley broke the shooting drought with a driving layup. The Warriors then got as close as 29-25, but the Roadrunners eventually took a 37-27 lead at intermission.

“It was 9-0 and we have to continue to stay hungry, stay disciplined,” Ganot said. “We had turnovers, gave up a 3 … credit (CSUB) for fighting back. I thought from the 9-0 to the start of the second half, we had difficulty getting anything.”

The Roadrunners led by as many as 14 in the second half, but the Warriors managed to get as close as seven (75-68) with less than a minute remaining. Webster led the late charge, scoring 18 of his points in the second half.

CSUB recorded an almost-unbelievable 21-6 advantage in rebounds in the second half. No Hawai’i player grabbed more than three rebounds in the game.

The Roadrunners also secured the victory by converting 13 of 14 free throws in the second half, and were 22 of 27 (81.5 percent) for the game.

“This win is a credit to our guys and their maturity,” CSUB head coach Rod Barnes said. “It’s always tough to beat someone twice in a season let alone on back-to-back nights…I’m just proud of this team. I thank God for both wins and that we made it over here safely.”

The Roadrunners start five seniors who returned from last season. Justin Edler-Davis, a 6-4 guard/forward, led CSUB with 22 points and seven rebounds.

The Warriors will return to the road next week for two conference games at Cal State Fullerton.

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Big West Conference
Saturday’s Results

Cal State Fullerton at UC Davis, canceled
CSUN at Long Beach State, canceled
UC Riverside 70, at Cal Poly 53
at UC Santa Barbara 84, UC San Diego 53
CSUN 86, at Cal State Fullerton 85
CSU Bakersfield 83, at Hawai’i 72

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