(Hawaii Athletics) - Backed by another stellar defensive effort the University of Hawai'i men's basketball grinded out a 57-45 win over Cal Poly Wednesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. UH improved to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in the Big West with a win in its conference home opener.
The Rainbow Warriors held its second straight opponent to under 50 points while stifling the top three-point shooting team in the league. Cal Poly came into the game averaging 88.5 ppg through their first two Big West games and a league-high 9.3 three-pointers per game. UH held the Mustangs to a season low in points, including just 3-of-19 shooting from behind the arc.
Offensively, UH was once again carried by Mike Thomas who had 22 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double in as many games. Thomas went 7-of-8 from the floor to continue his torrid shooting (88 percent) in conference. Sheriff Drammeh added 13 points and six rebounds for the 'Bows.
UH never trailed in the game, though Cal Poly stayed within striking distance until the waning minutes. Both teams played tough defense from the get-go. UH started the game on a 7-0 run and ended the half on an 8-2 run to take a 29-23 lead into the locker room. The 'Bows held the Mustangs to just 31 percent shooting in the first half, including just 1-of-9 from three-point land.
The 'Bows extended its lead to 11 points five minutes into the second half, its largest of the game up to that point. Cal Poly reeled off seven straight points to get within four but that would be as close as it would get. UH limited the Mustangs (6-11, 1-2 BW) to just 33 percent shooting in the second half, while Thomas and Drammeh combined for 28 second-half points.
The win was UH's third win in the last four games and its sixth straight in the series against Cal Poly.
The Rainbow Warriors will continue its four-game homestand with a matchup against UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, Jan. 13. Tipoff is at 8:00 p.m. as a part of a double-header with the Rainbow Wahine who face Long Beach State at 5:30 p.m.