Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UC Riverside denies Warriors in Big West Quarterfinals, 62-52

Photo courtesy Big West Conference

Dominick Pickett scored a game-high 14 points and Jock Perry added 13 points and seven rebounds tonight to help UC Riverside deny Hawai’i, 62-52, in the quarterfinals of the Air Force Reserve Big West Championships at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

Zyon Pullin added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists for the No. 3 seed Highlanders, who improved to 14-7 overall and advance to Friday’s semifinal vs. No. 2 seed UC Irvine. Junior Madut scored 12 points and grabbed five boards to lead the Warriors, whose season ends at 11-10.

UC Riverside led 26-24 at halftime and opened the lead to 38-31 five minutes into the second half after 7-foot-1 Perry swished a 3-pointer from the left wing five minutes into the second half, and then 44-36 with 12:24 remaining.

Madut then dropped in a 15-foot pull-up jumper from the left elbow to start a 13-5 run capped by James Jean-Marie’s 3-pointer from the left wing to tie it at 49-49 with 6:38 left.

The Highlanders answered with back-to-back baskets to take a 53-49 lead a minute later, then stretched the lead to 56-51 on Pickett’s 3-pointer from the right wing with 3:09 showing on the clock. Perry then hit a 12-footer from the right baseline to make it 58-51 with 2:24 remaining, and UC Riverside sank four free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.

UH did not make a field goal in the final 5:08 of the game.

UC Riverside jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the first seven minutes and later opened it to 20-12 after an 8-2 run bookended by 3-pointers by Flynn Cameron and George Willborn III, the latter with 7:28 remaining.

But Noel Coleman finally broke the streak with a 15-foot pull-up jumper from the right elbow with 8:08 left, igniting a 10-2 run capped by Biwali Bayles’ fadeaway jumper from the opposite elbow to tie it at 22-22 with three minutes on the clock. Perry then broke a 24-24 tie with a hook shot 20 seconds before halftime to give the Highlanders a 26-24 edge at the break.

UC Riverside shot 35.5 percent (11 for 31) from the field in the first half, including 4 of 13 (30.8 percent) from 3-point range. Hawai’i was 10 of 27 (37 percent) from the field, hitting only 2 of 11 (18 percent) shots from beyond the arc. The Highlanders out-rebounded the Warriors, 19 to 13.

Big West Conference Championship Tournament
Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas
Thursday, March 11

No. 1 UC Santa Barbara 95, No. 9 Long Beach State 87
No. 4 UC Davis 58, No. 5 CSU Bakersfield 56
No. 2 UC Irvine 58, No. 10 Cal Poly 51
No. 3 UC Riverside 62, No. 6 Hawai’I 52

Friday, March 12
No. 1 UC Santa Barbara vs. No. 4 UC Davis, 6:00 p.m. PT
No. 2 UC Irvine vs. No. 6 UC Riverside, 9:00 p.m. PT

Saturday, March 13
Championship, 8:30 p.m. PT

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