Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors top UC San Diego, 62-49, for seventh straight win

Bernardo da Silva scored a career-high 20 points, including the final six points of the game, to lead the University of Hawai’i basketball team to a 62-49 Big West Conference road win at UC San Diego.

A crowd of 976 at LionTree Arena in La Jolla, Calif., watched the Rainbow Warriors move into sole possession of first place in the second week of Big West action.

File photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

The Rainbow Warriors improved to 12-3 overall and 3-0 in the BWC with their seventh consecutive win. The Tritons dropped to 6-9 and 1-2.

UC Santa Barbara (2-0) and UC Irvine (2-0) are the only other BWC teams that remain unbeaten in conference play.

Hawai’i controlled the first half and took a 14-point lead at halftime. However, UCSD made it interesting in the second half and was within four points with less than three minutes remaining.

The Warriors closed the game with a 9-0 surge – a 3-pointer by Noel Coleman, then six points on three baskets in the paint by da Silva.

“I thought it was one of the best finishes you could ask for in the last four minutes of a close game,” Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot said in a post-game interview on ESPN Honolulu radio. “We started really well, we ended really well, in the middle it was sloppy. Really sloppy, give (UCSD) credit.”

Da Silva, a 6-foot-9 junior, shot 9 for 11 from the field, and also tied for the team lead with seven rebounds. He also had three blocked shots and three steals.

Coleman, Kamaka Hepa and JoVon McClanahan added 11 points each; Hepa also grabbed seven rebounds and McClanahan had six assists. Samuta Avea added seven points and five rebounds. Reserve forward Beon Riley did not score but contributed four rebounds and four assists.

Hawai’i opened the game with an 11-4 lead and held the lead the rest of the way. UCSD got as close as 19-17 with 10:22 remaining in the first half, but the Warriors responded with a 14-2 run to increase their lead to 33-19 with 4:22 remaining. Avea scored all seven of his points during the surge.

Hawai’i eventually took a 35-21 lead at intermission while shooting 51.7 percent (15 for 29) in the first half.

The Tritons scored the first eight points of the second half to cut the Hawai’i lead to 35-29, and then it stayed relatively close throughout the second half. UCSD got as close as four points several times, the last time at 53-49 on a 3-pointer by Jake Kosakowski with 3:00 remaining.

“They chipped away and we got out of sorts,” Ganot said. “They went to a zone which we’ve always been pretty good against zone, even though we haven’t seen much this year. But maybe that was part of the getting out of sorts … I think we were on our heels during that stretch.”

Coleman responded with a 3-pointer on Hawai’i’s next possession to stretch the lead to 56-49. Da Silva than scored on the Warriors’ next three possessions in the final two minutes to secure the win.

Hawai’i finished the game shooting 51 percent (26 for 51) from the field, including 40 percent (8 for 20) from 3-point range.

The Warriors also continued to dominate on the defensive end, limiting the Tritons to 39.2 percent (20 for 51) from the field and 27.3 percent (3 for 11) from 3-point range. It was also the second consecutive game that Hawai’i held its opponent under 50 points.

Bryce Pope led UCSD with 16 points, although he went 0 for 3 from 3-point range. He entered the game averaging 19.2 points per game and was leading the conference with 32 made 3-pointers.

Hawai’i will remain on the road for a BWC game at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday. The game is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time (4:00 p.m. Hawai’i) at Titan Gym in Fullerton, Calif. Fullerton scored a 77-62 road win at UC Riverside on Thursday.

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

Big West Conference
Thursday’s Results

UC Irvine 88, at UC Davis 83
at CSU Bakersfield 61, Cal Poly 51
Long Beach State 84, at CSUN 74
Hawai’i 62, at UC San Diego 49
Cal State Fullerton 77, at UC Riverside 62

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

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