Cal Poly men’s basketball dropped their eighth straight game in Big West play against the University of Hawaii by a score of 63-54 on Thursday, Feb. 24 inside Simplifi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.
The Mustangs (5-20, 1-12 Big West) have been unable to build momentum throughout conference play while the Rainbow Warriors (14-9, 8-4 Big West) have been one of the strongest teams in the Big West.
Hawaii jumped out to a 13-3 lead to start the game, but the Mustangs clawed back. Junior center Alimamy Koroma ignited the run by ripping the ball away from a Hawaii player, which led to a transition three for sophomore guard Brantly Stevenson.
Sophomore forward Kyle Colvin made a hook shot from the low block on the following offense possession. The next time down, Colvin hit a deep three-pointer to make the score 17-11.
Sophomore point guard Camren Pierce capped the run off with two free throws to give the Mustangs a one-point lead, but Hawaii held a one-possession lead for the rest of the first half.
The teams traded baskets throughout the second half. The sophomore guard tandem of Pierce and Stevenson hit crucial shots in the midrange to sustain the Mustang’s offense while Koroma also was able to get to the line and finish from the post.
However, Hawaii broke the game open with their shooting. Hawaii center Jerome Desrosiers hit a trail three off a Cal Poly turnover. Then, point guard Jovon McClanahan made a contested three-pointer with the shot clock winding down to give Hawaii a six-point lead with 26 seconds left, which sealed the game.
Hawaii held the advantage in three pointers made, turnovers and offensive rebounds en route to their eighth conference win.
The Mustangs had a strong second-half, converting on 52% of their shots, but Hawaii ultimately came out on top.
Pierce and Stevenson scored 15 and 14, respectively, while grabbing 11 combined rebounds. Koroma chipped in eight points, but dealt with foul trouble once again and committed four turnovers.
The Mustangs will look for a win in their next game against UC Irvine at Mott Athletics Center on Thursday, March 3rd at 7 p.m.