HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team used a strong finish to pull off a 64-58 overtime win over Cal State Fullerton on Senior Night at the Stan Sheriff Center. UH improved to 14-13 overall and 8-6 in the Big West with its sixth win in the last eight games.
In his final home appearance, senior Noah Allen scored a game-high 21 points to help lift UH to the key conference win before a raucous Whiteout crowd. With the win the Rainbow Warrior moved into a tie for third –just two games out of first place—in a congested Big West race.
Jack Purchase added 13 point, including a pair of big three pointers in overtime. Meanwhile Gibson Johnson scored 11 points and came up big defensively with a career-high four blocks.
Tre Coggins led CSF with 15 poins, while Jackson Rowe added 10 points and 13 rebounds.
It wasn't pretty, but UH pulled off the win with some gritty play down the stretch. Both team's struggled offensively in the first half. They shot a combined 1-of-22 from three-point range while also committing 16 turnovers. UH never trailed in the first half and clung to a 23-21 lead at halftime.
The second half saw the pendulum swing with the Titans (14-13, 8-6 BW) leading for the majority after the break. CSF went on a 13-5 lead to open the second half, capped by a Coggins three-pointer—the Titans first three of the game—and built its lead to as many as seven points with 10 minutes left.
But UH hung around and had a chance to win the game in regulation. Down by one, Allen missed a go-ahead floater with nine seconds left, but Sheriff Drammeh came up with the rebound and was fouled with 4.7 seconds left. Drammeh buried one of two free throws to tie the game. CSF had one last chance in regulation but Khalil Ahmad missed a jumper at buzzer.
The overtime period was all Rainbow Warriors. Purchase set the tone with a three-pointer just 15 seconds into the extra frame. Johnson also came up big with a block on one end, followed up with a layup on the other to give UH a six-point lead with 1:42 left. UH was uncharacteristically off from the free throw line (19-of-31), but scored its final eight points from the free throw line to seal the game.
UH now closes the Big West regular-season on the road with games at UC Davis (March 2) and Long Beach State (March 4).