Rainbow Warriors fall to last place Cal Poly

Local Sports
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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.  – The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team fell victim to a hot-shooting Cal Poly squad in an 88-80 loss Saturday night at Mott Gym. UH (16-11, 7-6 BWC) dropped to fourth in the Big West standings with its second road loss in the last three days.
 
Cal Poly shot 53 percent for the game, including 14-of-24 from three-point range (58 percent) to turn a two-point deficit into an eight-point victory. Donovan Fields led the way with 28 points to help the Mustangs (6-19, 2-10 BWC) snap a five-game slide and keep their Big West Tournament hopes alive.
 
Zigmars Raimo led UH with 21 points and added seven rebounds. Meanwhile, with starting point guard Drew Buggs sidelined for the entire second half, Brocke Stepteau stepped up with 11 points, a career-high 11 assists, and no turnovers for his first-ever double-double. Eddie Stansberry added 12 points, while Sheriff Drammeh finished with 11 points.
 
The first half was a see-saw affair with eight ties and 12 lead changes. UH held a 40-38 lead on the strength of 9-of-13 free throws, five three-pointers, and just one turnover.
 
However, the Mustangs came out of the gates strong in the second with an 11-2 run. That run gave them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. A Field’s three-pointer midway through the second half gave Cal Poly a double-digit lead, 66-56. and though UH cut the deficit to just one, 69-68, on a pair of Samuta Avea free throws with 5:28 left, that would be as close as UH would get.
 
The Mustangs drilled nine of their 14 three-pointers in the second half and finished the game with a 35-34 edge on the glass. UH lost despite committing a season-low four turnovers.
 
UH will now return to Hawaii for its final home game of the season when it host CSUN on Saturday, March 2 at 8:00 p.m. UH’s three seniors – Drammeh, Stepteau and Jack Purchase – will be honored following the game as part of Senior Night festivities.

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