Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UPDATED: Warriors reach 20 wins with sweep at CSU Bakersfield, 61-50

A 20-win season, a two-game road sweep, and a move up the standings were all accomplished by the University of Hawai’i basketball team in a 61-50 victory at CSU Bakersfield on Monday.

Warriorinsider.com file photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

A crowd of 976 at the Icardo Center in Bakersfield, Calif., watched the Rainbow Warriors take control late in the first half en route to their second win over CSUB this season. It is the second consecutive season that Hawai’i has swept the home-and-home series from the Roadrunners.

The Rainbow Warriors improved to 20-8 overall and 11-5 in the Big West Conference with their second road win in three days. They also won at Long Beach State on Saturday, and it is the first time this season that the Warriors went 2-0 on a road trip.

“It’s such a big win,” Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot said. “To beat them by double-digits here the way the tempo is; to withstand early … to start the game we missed some great shots and they made some tough ones.”

Hawai’i is now tied for third place in the BWC, just a half-game behind second-place UC Riverside, and 1.5 games behind first-place UC Irvine. The Warriors will host both those teams later this week.

The Roadrunners dropped to 10-17 overall and 6-10 in the conference.

Justus Jackson scored a career-high 16 points to lead four Hawai’i players in double-figures. The 6-foot-1 sophomore shot 6 for 8 from the field, including 4 for 5 from 3-point range. He played more minutes than expected in relief of starter Noel Coleman, and with fellow reserve guard Kody Williams unavailable due to a facial injury.

WarriorInsider.com file photo Brandon Flores

“We needed it,” Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot said in a post-game radio interview with ESPN Honolulu. “Our bench was incredible today. Obviously at this point of the year you need that.”

JoVon McClanahan added 15 points, including a momentum-building halfcourt shot at the halftime buzzer. Kamaka Hepa contributed 12 points and six rebounds, and Samuta Avea had 12 points and five rebounds.

CSUB opened the game with an 8-3 lead, but the Warriors responded with an 11-0 run to take a 14-8 advantage with 9:36 remaining.

The Roadrunners tied the game at 16, and it stayed close for the final six minutes of the first half. Hawai’i eventually took a 28-24 lead at intermission, with McClanahan draining a 3-pointer from mid-court as the halftime horn sounded.

McClanahan scored 12 points in the first half on perfect shooting – 3 for 3 on field goals, 5 for 5 on free throws.

The Warriors stayed in front the entire second half, although they did not pull away until the final four minutes. Hawai’i had a 43-42 lead with 9:33 remaining, and then went on a 15-5 surge to increase it to 58-47 with 3:49 remaining.

Coleman, who entered the game as Hawai’i’s leading scorer with 12.9 points per game, was held scoreless for the first time this season. He shot 0 for 3 from the field in 17-plus minutes of action.

Starting center Bernardo da Silva also went scoreless, but reserves Beon Riley and Mor Seck combined for six points and 10 rebounds.

Ganot noted that the reserve trio of Jackson, Riley and Seck were on the court together for key stretches in the second half. “Our energy and the 50-50 balls changed in our favor with that group,” he said.

The Warriors are scheduled to return to Honolulu tomorrow and will complete the rare three-game week with home contests against UC Riverside on Thursday, then first-place UC Irvine on Saturday. Those are the final two home games of this season.

“We have a quick turnaround against two teams that are above us in the standings,” Ganot said. “We gotta enjoy it and we have to stay focused on the task at hand because we have to get better, even in this quick turnaround.”

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

Big West Conference
Monday’s Results

Hawai’i 61, at CSU Bakersfield 50
at UC Davis 76, UC San Diego 66
Cal State Fullerton 74, at UC Santa Barbara 60
UC Riverside 96, at CSUN 76
UC Irvine 59, at Cal Poly 56

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