NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – (Hawaii Athletics) The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team concluded its regular-season schedule with an 88-75 loss to Cal State Northridge Thursday night at The Matadome.
With the loss Rainbow Warriors dropped 17-13 overall and finished 10-8 in its inaugural season in the Big West. UH currently sits in fifth place in the Big West after losing four of its final five league games. Despite the loss UH finished with its first winning league record since the 2005-06 squad went 10-6 in the Western Athletic Conference.
CSUN (14-17, 5-13 Big West) entered the game having already been eliminated from postseason contention and playing its final game of the year went out on a high note, snapping a six-game losing steak.
Josh Green exploded for 37 points for CSUN and UH was again burned by the long ball as the Matadors buried 11 three-pointers. Green had seven of those three-pointers, while adding a team-high six assists. Stephen Maxwell also contributed a double-double (24 points, 13 rebounds) for the Matadors.
UH lost despite a 26-point effort by junior forward Christian Standhardinger and 16 points and a career high 19 rebounds from senior center Vander Joaquim. Senior wing Hauns Brereton chipped in 18 points.
The first half was tight with neither team leading by more than five points. Standhardinger led the way with 17 points in the first frame to help UH stake a 43-39 lead at the break.
The second half continued to back-and-forth with UH holding on to a 66-63 lead on a pair of Standhardinger free throws with 10 minutes remaining. But the Matadors went on an 8-1 run to take a lead they would not relinquish. UH closed to 71-69 with less than five minutes left, however a 14-2 Matador run over the next four minutes sealed UH's fate.
UH awaits as the rest of the Big West wraps up the regular-season season on Saturday. The Rainbow Warriors could finish as the fifth or sixth seed heading into the Big West Tournament, March 14-16, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.