HONOLULU — Not many teams shoot 37% from the field, rack up just three assists, get outplayed by 14 points in the second half, and find a way to win the game. Even fewer make it on the road.
Cal State Fullerton did just that, surviving a second-half rally from Hawaii to defeat the Rainbow Warriors (52-51) for a Big West Conference win late Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Fullerton (14-12 overall, 8-6 Big West) led by as many as 18 points early in the second half before Hawaii (18-8, 9-5) charged back. The Warriors used a 7-0 run past the final 2:58 to cut the Titans’ lead to one, but Fullerton’s defense made it through a frantic final possession to seal the win.
Max Jones led Fullerton with 14 points while Latrell Wrightsell Jr. had 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Tory San Antonio had nine points and nine rebounds and Jalen Harris added nine points and a pair of boards.
As a team, the Titans held Hawaii at 29.6% shooting (16 to 54) while shooting themselves 37% (17 to 46). Fullerton forced 14 turnovers while scoring 16 points from Takeaways and outplaying the hosts 24-16 in the paint.
Hawaii scored the first six points of the game, but Fullerton held the Warriors to just nine points in the last 18:54 of the first half, limiting them to 17% shooting before the break. An acrobatic move by Jones, setting up an open layup after a steal and save by Wrightsell, gave the Titans a 14-10 lead. Wrightsell pulled off another steal to set up a Harris fast break layup as Fullerton used a 19-3 run to open a 28-13 advantage. Two free throws by Harris gave the Titans a 30-15 lead at halftime.
Fullerton extended the lead to 18 points on a pull-up 3-pointer from Wrightsell. A basket in the color from Jones made it 39-22 with 15:37 to go, but Hawaii responded with an 11-2 run to come within 41-33.
Jones hit a jumper to push the Titans’ lead to 47-35 with 7:29 left, but the hosts capitalized on a 9-0 run to get three points with 5:09 left. Wrightsell hit a shot in the paint and Jones completed a three-point play to give Fullerton a 52-44 advantage by 2:58.
Hawaii capitalized on a 7-0 run to go 52-51 on two free throws from JoVon McClanahan with 21 seconds left, but Fullerton held on, forcing three consecutive misses on the Warriors’ final possession — including a pair from close range the last five seconds – to secure victory.
Big man Kamaka Hepa led Hawaii with 16 points while guard Samuta Avea had 12 points and 17 rebounds.
Fullerton plays UC San Diego at 7 p.m. Wednesday
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/11/cal-state-fullerton-survives-hawaiis-2nd-half-rally-for-road-win/ Cal State Fullerton Survives Hawaii’s Rally In Second Half To Win On Road – Orange County Register