Hawai’i Drops to Sixth in the Big West After 84-82 Loss to UC Santa Barbara in Overtime

Stepteau, Brocke
In the last game for Hawai’i, Brocke Stepteau had a shot to win the game in overtime, but his jumper was blocked and the Gauchos came away with the two-point win, 84-82. (Source: Getty Images) (Header: Today’s U)

HONOLULU — Things have gone very wrong since the Hawai’i Warriors found themselves atop of the Big West standings. The Warriors have since lost two straight conference games, and they have come by a combined five points.

The Warriors fell to the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos in the closing seconds in their last outing, as Brocke Stepteau had his jumper blocked as time expired in overtime in what was a heartbreak ending for Hawai’i on the road.

Just a game before, Hawai’i fell to the Cal State Fullerton Titans on their home floor, 69-66. It was a game in which the Warriors allowed Titans’ guard Kyle Allman to go for 40 points.

In each of their two conference losses this season, Hawai’i allowed their opponents to shoot at least 50% from the field, and they turned the ball over 10-plus times a game themselves.

Despite the losses, senior forward Michael Thomas has shown up for the Warriors over the past two games. He has averaged 25.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game over that span.

Head coach Eran Ganot had this to say after their loss to CS Fullerton in regards to the 40 points posted by Allman.

“Allman, we didn’t do a good job on. This game is very humbling.”

Hawai’i does not have any remaining non-conference games, which puts a heavy significance on each game down the stretch. The Warriors have a tough road ahead for them, as they now sit sixth out of nine teams in the Big West Conference.

Entering the weekend’s action, six teams are within a half game of first place in the league. The Warriors take on the Cal Poly Mustangs on Saturday night.

– T. Zust