CSUN turns back visiting Warriors, 76-66

Point guard JoVon McClanahan again led the way for Hawai’i, scoring a team-high 23 points with five steals, two assists and zero turnovers in the Warriors road loss at Cal State Northridge. (Brandon Flores Photography file photo)

The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team started fast and finished slow Saturday afternoon in a 76-66 Big West Conference road loss to CSUN at Northridge, Calif.

A crowd of 657 at Premier America Credit Union Arena watched the much-improved Matadors win their seventh consecutive game to improve to 12-3 overall and 3-0 in the Big West. The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 9-6 and 1-2. UH defeated CSUN by 22-plus points at Northridge in each of the previous two seasons.

The Warriors raced to a 9-2 lead to open the game, and then it went back-and-forth for most of the contest. The game was closer than the final score indicated, as CSUN went on a 14-5 surge in the final 4 minutes, 16 seconds.

“Really disappointing,” Hawai’i head coach Eran Ganot said in a post-game radio interview on ESPN Honolulu. “I thought we came out of the gates really well, but then we had a lot of lapses. They’re a good team and obviously off to a good start. We needed a breakthrough to get this one done on the road with the way they’re playing.”

JoVon McClanahan kept the Warriors in it early, and finished with season-highs of 23 points and five steals. He also had two assists with zero turnovers. Noel Coleman added 13 points and five rebounds, and Justin McKoy contributed 12 points and five boards.

McClanahan shot 3 for 3 from 3-point range in the first three minutes of the game to give the Warriors an early 9-2 lead. The Matadors answered with a 12-3 surge to take a 14-12 advantage with 11:28 remaining in the half.

The game stayed close the remainder of the first half, and it fittingly was tied at 37-all at intermission. McClanahan (17) and Coleman (10) combined for 27 of UH’s 37 points in the first half.

A short jumper by Ryan Rapp capped a 7-0 run by the Warriors and put Hawai’i ahead, 49-45, with 15:43 remaining in the second half. The Warriors’ last lead of the game came at 55-53 with 9:43 left after Bernardo da Silva scored on a layup for his only basket of the day. Da Silva was averaging 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds prior to the game, but finished with two points, seven rebounds and six turnovers.

UH finished with 13 turnovers, leading to 14 CSUN points. The Matadors also out-scored the Warriors 40-16 on “points in the paint.”

“The turnover thing, I know it was 13, which is still a lot, not as much as we had the past couple games, but those are big,” Ganot said. “They’re in transition and they’re getting to the line. Our lack of execution in key moments, (is) very disappointing.”

The final margin of 10 was the largest of the game. CSUN went 5 for 6 on free throws in the final 64 seconds to seal the win.

Hawai’i shot a season-low 32.8 percent from the field (21 for 64), including 28.9 percent from 3-point range (11 for 38). The 38 3-point attempts was one short of the program record for a game (39 against Washington in the 2019).

Also of note, the Matadors went 25 for 39 (83.3 percent) on free throws, while the Warriors were 13 for 18 (72.2 percent). De’Sean Allen-Eikens led CSUN with 20 points, including 10-for-10 free-throw shooting.

“I keep saying we’re close, we’re close, we’re close,” Ganot said. “I don’t want to say it for two more months. Today was an opportunity to break through and we didn’t.”

The Warriors are scheduled to return to Honolulu on Sunday. They will host first-place UC Irvine on Thursday, then UC Riverside on Saturday.


1. UC Irvine (4-0)
2T. CSUN (3-0)
2T. UC San Diego (3-0)
4T. Long Beach State (3-1)
4T. UC Davis (3-1)
6. HAWAI’I (1-2)
7T. Cal State Fullerton (1-3)
7T. UC Riverside (1-3)
7T. UC Santa Barbara (1-3)
10. Cal State Bakersfield (0-3)
11. Cal Poly (0-4)

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