The Rainbow Warriors had the chance to take first place in the Big West Conference Standings before the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team played against UC Santa Barbara. Cal State Fullerton was the only other team that had not been defeated in conference play before losing to UC Riverside.
The Rainbow Warriors needed a win in order to lead the conference standings. They rose to the occasion and won the to take over first place in Big West Conference. The UH Warriors are 11-5 overall and 6-0 in Big West play. This was after a surprising 65-62 win over the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at SimpliFi Arena-Stan Sheriff Center. This is the seventh consecutive win for the Rainbow Warriors.
2,838 people attended, setting a season-high crowd. UC Santa Barbara jumped off to a huge lead in the first half.They led 23-4 with 11:10 remaining in the first half. Hawaii responded by reducing the deficit to 25-18 at 3:28 to go in the first half.. However, the Gauchos took a double-digit lead at halftime to lead 30-19.
The Rainbow Warriors run of 13-0 spurred Hawaii to a lead for in the second half. This was around the eight mark in the second half.. With 3:24 left, the ‘Bows had led by as much 57-50. The Warriors never held a lead that was comfortable until the buzzer sounded.
Madut was the catalyst for Hawaii’s win with 16 points, nine rebound and three assists. Kamaka Hepa scored 13 points by shooting 3-pointers on 4-for-6 shooting from the arc.. Hawaii was 7-for-10 in the second half from 3, as a team.
UCSB (6-8, 1-3) was led in part by Amadou Sow (all-conference forward), who had a doubled-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. Mitchell also scored 16 points, which was a team high..
Next, Hawaii will be on the road for a pair games. The first at against UC Riverside at 6 p.m. (HST) Thursday. ESPNU will broadcast the game nationally.