Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Cal State Fullerton holds off Warriors in thriller, 52-51

Max Jones scored 13 points and Latrell Wrightsell Jr. added 11 points tonight to help Cal State Fullerton hold off Hawai’i, 52-51, in thrilling Big West Conference men’s basketball action.

Photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

A super vocal crowd of 3,997 in SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Warriors overcome a 17-point second-half deficit to cut it to one point and have three shot attempts fall short in the final seconds as they fell to 18-8 overall and 9-5 in league play. Kamaka Hepa led the Warriors with 16 points, and Samuta Avea added 12 points. The Titans improved to 14-12 and 8-6. 

Cal State Fullerton led, 39-22, after Jones’ tough off-balanced running bank shot from the left side with 15:35 remaining in the second half, but Hawai’i chipped away and went on a 22-8 run to close it to 47-44 on Avea’s 3-pointer from beyond the top of the key with 5:08 left.

The Titans later stretched the lead to 52-44 with three minutes to go, but Coleman swished a 3 from the right corner 51 seconds later and then Avea made a driving baseline layup to cut it to 52-49 with 40 ticks on the clock. After a Titans miss on the other end, JoVon McClanahan then sank free throw with 21.7 seconds remaining to close it to 52-51. 

Wrightsell was then fouled a second later but missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and the Warriors regained possession and called timeout at halfcourt with 16 seconds left. McClanahan drove down the middle of the lane and missed a short fadeaway, Hepa missed a tip-in, Avea grabbed the rebound but then was just short on a baseline fadeaway as the horn sounded.

Cal State Fullerton led, 30-15, at halftime after making 13 of 15 free throws and making only four turnovers compared to 11 by Hawai’i. The Warriors led 6-0, but finished the half shooting just 16.7 percent (4 of 24) from the field, including 2 for 10 from 3-point range.

The Warriors will return to the road for its next two Big West games – at Long Beach State on February 18, then at CSU Bakersfield on February 20. The next home game is on February 23 against UC Riverside, followed by the “Senior NIght” home finale against UC Irvine on February 25.

More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be posted later.

Big West Conference
Saturday’s Results

at CSUN 64, Cal Poly 53
Long Beach State 79, at CSU Bakersfield 69
at UC Irvine 83, UC Riverside 64
at UC Santa Barbara 84, UC Davis 74
Cal State Fullerton 52, at Hawai’i 51

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