Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

UC Santa Barbara shoots past Warriors, 81-61

A run at first place came to an abrupt halt for the University of Hawai’i basketball team in an 81-61 road loss at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night at the Thunderdome in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The Rainbow Warriors, who had a chance to tie for first place with a victory, dropped to 22-10 overall and completed the Big West Conference regular season at 13-7. UCSB improved to 24-8 overall and 15-5 in the BWC. The Gauchos and UC Irvine finished in a tie for the regular-season championship.

Hawai’i finished in fifth place and will be the No. 5 seed for next week’s Big West Conference Championship Tournament at Henderson, Nev. The Warriors will face No. 4 Cal State Fullerton in a quarterfinal game on March 9.

“Disappointed, obviously,” Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot said in a post-game interview on ESPN Honolulu radio. “But give Santa Barbara credit. I think they deserved to win. They played with greater energy, force, will, physicality.”

The Warriors fell behind early and never caught up. The Gauchos jumped to a 21-10 lead less than nine minutes into the game, and eventually took a 46-26 lead at intermission.

Hawai’i never got closer than 15 in the second half, and the final margin of 20 was the Warriors’ largest loss this season. UCSB’s 81 points is also the most surrendered by Hawai’i this season. The Warriors entered the game allowing just 61.2 points per game.

“I’m at a loss for how poor we were defensively today,” Ganot said. “We were number 1 in the country for not allowing assists and they had 21 assists to 4 turnovers. It’s very disappointing because they got whatever they wanted.”

Noel Coleman led the Warriors with 15 points, and JoVon McClanahan added 11 points and five assists.

Freshman center Mor Seck made his third consecutive start in place of injured junior Bernardo da Silva. Seck finished with seven points and a team-high nine rebounds. Da Silva played 15 minutes off the bench and contributed two points.

Hawai’i shot a respectable 45 percent from the field (22 for 49), but UCSB shot 53 percent (33 for 62). The Gauchos connected on 19 of 30 field goals (63.3 percent) in the decisive first half.

Miles Norris led the Gauchos with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Calvin Wishart added 15 points, and Andre Kelly had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

Big West Conference Tournament
First Round, Tuesday, March 7

No. 8 CSU Bakersfield vs. No. 9 CSUN
No. 7 Long Beach State vs. No. 10 Cal Poly

Quarterfinals, Thursday, March 9
No. 1 UC Irvine vs. winner of CSUB/CSUN
No. 4 Cal State Fullerton vs. No. 5 Hawai’i
No. 2 UC Santa Barbara vs. winner of LBSU/CP
No. 3 UC Riverside vs. No. 6 UC David

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