Warriors blow past Cal Poly on road, 80-51

Hawai’i point guard Juan Munoz scored a game-high 20 points with three rebounds, two assists and two steals to help the Warriors rout Cal Poly for their third straight victory and fifth in the past six games. (Chris Kadooka file photo)

Sorry, not sorry.

The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team took advantage of short-handed Cal Poly on Thursday and routed the Mustangs, 80-51, for a convincing and much-needed road victory in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

A sparse announced crowd of 1,122 at the Mott Athletics Center watched Juan Munoz score a game-high 20 points and Justin McKoy add 18 points and five rebounds as the Warriors improved to 15-11 overall and 7-7 in the Big West Conference with their third straight win and fifth in the past six games. Quentin Jones scored 11 points and Tuuka Jaakkola added 10 points for Cal Poly, which fell to 4-22, 0-14.

UH actually got its first break pior to tipoff, when Mustangs starting guard Kobe Sanders was absent from team warmups and it was learned he was out for the night due to illness. In the Warriors’ 83-73 home victory over Cal Poly on Jan. 27, Sanders poured in a game-high 32 points and tied for a game-high with 10 rebounds, to go with four assists.

To make matters worse for the Mustangs, they also were missing leading rebounder Joel Armotrading due to injury.

“No. 1, this game is very humbling,” Hawai’i coach Eran Ganot said during his postgame radio interview. “We’ve played against teams who have missed guys, (and) we’re a good example of that. Teams usually rise. So were pretty quick with our guys, about, ‘Hey, they may be out guys, but if you watched ourselves or other teams over the course of the years, (they) step up when that happens.’

“And then (No.) 2 is, ‘OK with these guys out, where are they going to play off of?’ ” Ganot said. “And so we had stuff we thought they would play off of with (Sanders) out, we thought Jones would be more aggressive, we thought they would go at their big fellah (Jaakkola) a lot more … and I think our guys all did a nice job with that.”

With the Warriors short-handed themselves — backup center Mor Seck is out for the season and point guard JoVon McClanahan missed his third straight game, both due to injury — there was no time for sympathy, and UH showed none.

The Warriors made their move midway through the first half, with Tom Beattie’s 3-pointer sparking a 9-0 run capped by Bernardo da Silva’s layup that put Hawai’i ahead, 23-11, with 6:47 remaining.

After Cal Poly cut it to 23-14 about a minute later, Munoz drained a 3-pointer to start a 7-1 surge capped by his driving layup to push the lead to 30-14 with 2:30 left.

The Warriors took a 35-20 lead into halftime, on 13 of 28 (46.4 percent) shooting, including 5 for 15 (33 percent) from 3-point range.

The Mustangs, meanwhile, shot only 23.3 percent (7 for 30) from the field and not a whole lot better from the free throw line (4 for 11, 36.4 percent).

Hawai’i came out even hotter in the second half, with a stunning 22-4 run capped by Ryan Rapp’s free throw to make it 57-24 with 13:38 still to play.

The margin did not get closer than 27 points the rest of the way.

“We did a good job in the first half, we did make some open shots,” Ganot said. “We challenged our guys to set the tone in the first five minutes, and they couldn’t have done better in the first five minutes of the second half. We got a lift from a lot of different guys again. Bernardo da Silva was huge, the eight (points) and six (rebounds) in his minutes (19) and three steals … really active guarding a guy (Jaakkola) who has been giving people trouble inside.

“I thought our guys were really dialed in defensively, all phases.”

The Warriors headed south after Thursday night’s game to Goleta, where they will prepare for Saturday afternoon’s showdown at UC Santa Barbara.


  1. UC Irvine (11-2)
  2. UC San Diego (10-3)
  3. UC Davis (10-4)
  4. Long Beach State (8-5)
  5. Cal State Northridge (8-6)
  6. HAWAI’I (7-7)
  7. UC Santa Barbara (6-8)
  8. UC Riverside (6-8)
  9. Cal State Bakersfield (5-9)
  10. Cal State Fullerton (4-9)
  11. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (0-14)

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