UH MBB secures four-seed, wins big win over CS Fullerton

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 FULLERTON, Calif. – The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team concluded the` regular-season in impressive fashion with a 71-59 win over  Cal State Fullerton Saturday night at Titan Gym. With back-to-back road wins, UH improved to 18-12 overall and claimed fourth place in the Big West at 9-7.
For the second straight game, the Rainbow Warriors got off to a slow start. And for the second straight game UH put it in overdrive in the second half. Brocke Stepteau enjoyed another stellar game, leading the team with 21 points and seven rebounds, while also adding three assists. Stepteau scored 15 of his points after the break as UH turned a one-point halftime deficit into a double-digit win. The senior went 8-of-8 from the line and in the process set a new school-record with 34 straight free throws.
UH trailed by as many as nine points and were hitting just 32 percent of its shots going into the final 10 seconds of the first half. But Stepteau hit a three-pointer from the corner and then the ‘Bows drew a CSF charge on the other end. UH got one more possession and cashed in. Drew Buggs running three at the buzzer, cut the ‘Bows deficit to just 34-33 at the break.
It was a momentous turn for the Rainbow Warriors as it sparked a 22-5 run bridging the halves. UH scored 16 of the first 21 points of the second half and took a double-digit lead, 49-39, with 14 minutes remaining.
The Titans (14-16, 10-6 BWC) got no closer than five points thereafter. UH shot 52 percent in the second half, while holding the Titans to just 32 percent. Leading scorer Kyle Allman, who scored 10 first-half points, was held scoreless after the break. UH went 18-of-19 from the free throw line, while also dominating the glass, 39-27.
The Rainbow Warriors now set their sights on the 2019 Big West Tournament, March 14-16. The fourth-seeded Rainbow Warriors will face fifth-seeded Long Beach State on Thursday, March 14 in the tournament quarterfinals. Tipoff is 8:30 p.m. PT/5:30 p.m. HT at the Honda Center. 

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