(HAWAII ATHLETICS) – The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team saw its losing skid continue with a 77-71 loss to CSUN Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 13-10 and 4-6 in the Big West with their fifth straight loss.
A month ago, the Rainbow Warriors picked up a 19-point road win with a defensive effort that held the Matadors to under 30 percent shooting. In the second meeting, CSUN (6-19, 3-8), completely flipped the script. The Matadors shot 65 percent from the field and got 22 points each from Mike Warren and all-conference forward Tavrion Dawson to end their own five-game spell.
In the process CSUN also defeated UH for the first time since 2014 (seven straight losses) ad picked up its first-ever Big West win in Honolulu.
Drew Buggs tied his career-high with 17 points and Mike Thomas added 14 for the 'Bows. UH shot 51 percent, but it wasn't nearly enough to get UH back in the win column after allowing its third Big West opponent to shoot better than 60 percent. UH's five-game losing streak is its longest since joining the Big West and its longest overall streak since the 2011-12 season.
Things started well enough for UH. The team led by as many as seven early on and had a 29-28 lead with 4:20 left in the first half. But CSUN went on a 9-2 run to take a 37-31 lead at the break. UH shot 65 percent in the first half, but the Matadors were equally hot, shooting 63 percent and forcing 11 UH turnovers.
UH came out inspired out of the locker room and cut the deficit to 42-39 five minutes into the second half. But that would be as close as it would get. The Matadors continued their hot shooting, turned back every UH attempt at a rally and built a cushion that ballooned to as many as 16 points late in the game.
The Rainbow Warriors next head to the road for games at UC Irvine (Feb. 15) and UC Riverside (Feb. 17).