The University of Hawaii men's basketball team came tantalizingly close to winning a school-record fifth straight road game before falling to Long Beach State, 63-61, Thursday night at The Pyramid. Travis Hammond hit a three-pointer from the corner with eight seconds left to lift the 49ers to the win and a season sweep of the Rainbow Warriors.
UH had one last chance to answer, however Keith Shamburger's desperation jumper from the top of the key was off the mark. It was frustrating end for the 'Bows (19-9, 8-6 Big West) who led for nearly the entirety of the game before falling to LBSU in the waning seconds on the road for the second straight year. The loss snapped UH's four-game road win streak and and mathematically knocked UH out of the regular-season title race.
UH lost despite a strong effort by Christian Standhardinger who reached a pair of milestones. Standhardinger became the 16th player-and just the fourth two-year player-to score 1,000 career points at UH when he hit a layup with 4:17 left. The 6-8 forward also set a new single-season record for free throw attempts (228), breaking a 44-year old record held by John Penebacker.
Standhardinger finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. Brandon Spearman added 11 points, all coming in the first half.
Tyler Lamb scored 18 points and Dan Jennings finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the 49ers (13-14, 9-4 BWC), who won their third straight game and moved into a tie for second in the Big West.
UH got off to a fast start and led by as many as nine points in the first half behind the hot hand of Brandon Sperarman. Spearman made all four of his shots, including a trio of three-pointers in the first eight minutes, but sat the remainder of the half after picking up his second foul. The pace of the game slowed considerably thereafter but UH still was able to hold on to a 35-33 lead at the break.
LBSU took the lead briefly on a pair of occasions early in the second half, but the 'Bows continued to hold the lead for the majority of the second half and held a 60-55 lead with a little more than three minutes left. However, the 49ers, ended the game on a 8-1 run, capped by Hammond's clutch three-pointer.
UH will have one week before playing its next game, a road tilt at UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, March 6. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. HT) at The Thunderdome.