On the back of forward Isaac Fotu, Hawaii snapped a five-game losing streak to Cal Poly with a 69-60 victory at the Stan Sheriff Center Saturday night.
Fotu shot 10-for-13 for 26 points and forward Christian Standhardinger added 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Rainbow Warriors (16-7, 5-4 Big West) salvaged a 2-2 record during their four-game homestand and remained in the top half of the conference.
Cal Poly (8-14, 4-5) lost its fourth straight game in dropping to fifth place. UH outrebounded CP 38-22 and outscored the visitors 40-20 in points in the paint.
Poly cut an 11-point UH lead to one with less than seven minutes left, but UH responded with an 8-0 run, during which Fotu scored twice.
UH quickly built on its eight-point halftime lead, getting three straight baskets from Fotu to open the second half.
But the Mustangs, who always seemed to have an answer for UH, had one final run in them.
They got a deep 3-pointer from Anthony Silvestri to make it 50-45. Standhardinger committed a charging foul and Fotu was whistled for a bumping foul on a hedged ball screen. Ridge Shipley went to the line for a 1-and-1 and missed the front end, but he connected on a deep trey the next trip down to keep Poly’s 8-0 run going and trim UH’s lead 50-48, coaxing a timeout from UH coach Gib Arnold.
Fotu ended the run with a lefty baby hook against rare solo coverage.
Silvestri bombed another 3 to make it a one-point game, but Standhardinger got a tip-in and Fotu reached way back for a lob layup from Keith Shamburger to ignite UH’s separating run.
Guards Garrett Nevels and Shamburger combined to go 5-for-6 at the free-throw line in the final minute to clinch the victory.
A second straight subpar outside shooting night (2-for-11 on 3s) didn’t derail the ‘Bows this time, as it did on Thursday in a 75-64 loss to UC Santa Barbara.
The Mustangs’ leading scorer, Chris Eversley, was held to two points in the loss.
UH shot 50 percent in the first half and led 32-24 at the break.