Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Second-half surge powers Warriors to 81-55 rout at CSUN

The University of Hawai’i basketball team used a significant surge in the second half to earn a 81-55 road win at CSUN on Thursday in Northridge, Calif.

WarriorInsider.com file photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

A crowd of 535 at Premier America Credit Union Arena watched the Rainbow Warriors out-score the Matadors 48-22 after halftime to improve to 22-9 overall and 13-6 in the Big West Conference. CSUN dropped to 7-24 and 4-16, with two losses to Hawai’i.

The Warriors are now tied for third place, but just one game behind co-leaders UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. Hawai’i will close the regular season at UCSB on Saturday.

JoVon McClanahan recorded 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, Kamaka Hepa had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Mor Seck contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors.

The game was tied at 33 at halftime, but the Warriors left no doubt in the second half.

“Great response,” head coach Eran Ganot said in a post-game interview on ESPN Honolulu radio. “We didn’t really guard in the first half. The second half was everything – the boards, the offense, the defense.”

It was the team-leading fifth double-double this season for the senior Hepa. For the 7-foot-1 freshman Seck, it was his second consecutive double-double in just the second start of his career in place of injured Bernardo da Silva.

WarriorInsider.com file photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

“Second half, it was all about the physicality in the paint and the presence,” Ganot said. “I think Mor set the tone there, for sure.”

Led by Hepa and Seck, the Warriors out-rebounded the Matadors, 42-30. Led by McClanahan’s 5-to-0 assist to turnover ratio, the Warriors also had 17 assists with eight turnovers.

The final margin of 26 represented Hawai’i’s largest road win against a Big West opponent. The Warriors have been in the Big West since the 2012-13 season, and the previous largest margin in a road win was 23 at Cal State Fullerton.

Hawai’i appeared to be in control early, racing to a 23-13 lead midway through the first half. CSUN responded with an 11-0 surge to take a 24-23 lead with 6:42 remaining, and the teams eventually took a 33-all tie into halftime.

The Warriors opened the second half with a 17-4 run to regain control with a 50-37 lead with 13:41 remaining, and then followed with a 14-3 run a few minutes later to stretch the lead to 68-45 with 6:55 remaining. The Matadors never got closer than 19 the remainder of the game.

Atin Wright led CSUN with 26 points on 8-of-15 shooting.

The Warriors will remain on the road for the regular-season finale at UCSB on Saturday. Hawai’i needs to win that game to have a shot at tying for first place.

Big West Conference
Thursday’s Results

Cal Poly at UC San Diego, cancelled
UC Santa Barbara 89, at UC Davis 86
at Long Beach State 77, CSU Bakersfield 61
UC Irvine 75, at UC Riverside 65
Hawai’i 81, at CSUN 55

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

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