Hawaii got a career game from junior forward Christian Standhardinger and dominated the rebounding battle to pick up its first road win of the season, a 78-73 decision at UC Santa Barbara today.
UH (11-9 overall, 5-4 Big West) avoided a three-game losing streak. It was the first mainland victory this season in five tries.
The Rainbow Warriors outrebounded the Gauchos ? who were missing their injured star big man, Alan Williams ? by a remarkable 45-30. UH was outdone 38-21 on the glass in an 88-59 loss at Cal Poly on Thursday.
Standhardinger, a junior forward, had personal bests of 31 points and 16 rebounds. He shot 10-for-15 from the field and 11-for-17 at the free-throw line. He had 10 offensive rebounds, which were key in the Rainbow Warriors building their lead to double digits early in the second half.
According to UH, Standhardinger became only the fourth player in program history to record a 30-point, 15-rebound game, and the first in nearly 40 years. The others were Tommy Barker in 1975, Bob Nash in 1972 and Al Davis in 1971.
The ‘Bows enjoyed a 15-point lead near the midpoint of the second half but had trouble with turnovers and shot selection in the final 10 minutes, allowing the Gauchos (7-12, 3-5) to creep within six points late.
UH made enough free throws to hold on and conceded two baskets in the final 10 seconds to make the final margin closer than the game actually was.
Senior center Vander Joaquim rebounded from a two-point, one-rebound game at Cal Poly with 17 points and 11 boards. Senior Hauns Brereton added 16 points and seven rebounds.
Brereton got his first starting nod in five games, bumping Isaac Fotu (eight points) to the bench. Senior Jace Tavita got the nod at point guard for the first time in three games and responded with eight assists against three turnovers.
Standhardinger and Joaquim earned their seventh double-doubles of the season.
UH led by two at the half and went up 45-36 on a three-point play by Joaquim with under 17 minutes to play.
Standhardinger grabbed his eighth offensive rebound for a three-point play with 14 minutes left for a 52-43 lead.
UCSB guard T.J. Taylor hit two straight 3s to make it 66-56, then completed a three-point play to make it a seven-point game with eight minutes remaining.
Standhardinger scored inside twice to end the drought. He soon grabbed his 10th offensive rebound, but slammed the ball for a technical foul with 2:55 left. UCSB made one of two tech free throws and Standhardinger missed two foul shots of his own.
He forced a jumpball turnover on UCSB’s next possession to redeem himself, but UH quickly turned it over. Taran Brown (team-high 15 points) hit a baseline floater to make it a six-point game.
UCSB went to fouling and cut it to six again in the final minute. Standhardinger beat the press for a three-point play to boost the lead back to nine to help ice it with about 30 seconds remaining.
The last 30-point game by a UH player was Zane Johnson’s 32 at UC Davis on Feb. 19, 2011.
The ‘Bows went to the foul line 39 times, making 25 (64 percent).
UH started 5-for-11 from the field, but missed its next eight shots and UCSB took a four-point lead. The Rainbow Warriors settled down and Standhardinger got a putback in the half’s final seconds for a 36-34 UH lead at the break.
The Rainbow Warriors will return to the islands until Tuesday, then fly back to California for two more road games at UC Riverside and Cal State Fullerton on Thursday and Saturday.