Christian Standhardinger’s jumper at the buzzer missed off the back iron as Cal State Northridge survived to defeat Hawaii 79-78 Saturday at the Matadome in Northridge, Calif.
It was the fifth straight Big West Conference road defeat for UH (11-5, 0-2 BWC) going back to last season. CSUN (10-7, 2-0) saw a 13-point lead evaporate in the final few minutes but the Rainbow Warriors were unable to muster the go-ahead points.
UH point guard Keith Shamburger hit a 3, his first field goal of the game, to cut the deficit to a point with 1:52 left.
Rainbow Warriors senior Brandon Spearman missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw trailing by a point with under a minute left, but forward Isaac Fotu grabbed the offensive rebound. Shamburger missed on a layup with 25 seconds left but Fotu grabbed yet another board, setting up UH’s final possession. It dribbled out the clock to the buzzer before Standhardinger’s look caromed off to finish shooting 4-for-13 for the game.
Standhardinger had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Fotu went for 16 points and 11 boards in the loss. Guard Garrett Nevels fouled out with 19 points in the final minutes after scoring 16 in the second half.
Junior forward Stephen Maxwell led the Matadors with 24 points and 10 rebounds behind a dominant second half. Guard Aaron Parks added 19 points and Josh Greene had 15 for CSUN.
UH’s 3-point woes continued as it went only 7-for-23 (30 percent) coming off a poor shooting night in a loss at Cal Poly on Thursday.
The teams combined to hit all 26 free throw attempts in the first half, including 18-for-18 by CSUN as the Matadors rallied from nine points down to take a one-point halftime lead.
UH recaptured the lead temporarily to open the second half.
But CSUN seized control with a 13-2 run at the midpoint of the second half, going up its largest at 70-57.
Parks scored a four-point play when Nevels fouled him on a 3 with 10:59 left for a 66-57 advantage for the hosts.
Nevels got a steal and a layup during a 7-0 run to cut it to 70-63 with 6:40 to play.
Parks was called for a flagrant 1 foul while Nevels went up for a dunk off a turnover with 5:19 left. Nevels hit one of two free throws and UH got the ball back, but Nevels turned it over on a drive.
Spearman scored on a take to get UH within 72-66 and Nevels nailed a 3 to make it a three-point game with four minutes to go.
Greene hit a big corner 3, but Nevels responded with a jumper to make it 77-73.
Standhardinger came out aggressive, draining four free throws to start the game. He hit a 3-pointer for a 23-17 lead.
Brandon Spearman nailed his second 3 for a 30-21 lead, UH’s largest to that point.
CSUN went on a 9-0 run to knot the game at 30.
A putback by Spearman gave UH a 39-37 lead in the final minute of the period, but Dyrbe Enos, who had just hit a big corner 3-pointer, fouled Parks with less than a second left before halftime and Parks hit all three for a 40-39 lead at the break.
UH resumes play at home against UC Riverside at the Stan Sheriff Center next Saturday.