The Hawaii men’s basketball team rode a torrid first half to an 84-73 win over Cal State Northridge at The Matadome in Northridge, Calif., on Thursday to open a four-game road trip.
UH (15-7, 3-3 Big West) improved to 7-0 in games immediately following a loss and picked up its first conference road win of the season. It was UH’s first win at the Matadome in three seasons of Big West play.
Forward Stefan Jankovic scored 15 points, point guard Roderick Bobbitt had 12 points, eight assists and three steals and forward Aaron Valdes added 12 points for the Rainbow Warriors, who shot 53.7 percent for the game (including 58.8 percent before halftime).
CSUN (6-16, 2-5) was led by forward Stephen Maxwell, who had 28 points and 17 rebounds. CSUN committed only nine turnovers (compared to 28 in UH’s win at the Stan Sheriff Center on Jan. 10) but the hosts could not prevent UH from sweeping the home-and-home season series.
UH’s 17-point lead early in the second half dwindled, but the ‘Bows responded.
CSUN drew within 57-48 on an inside score by Tre Hale-Edmerson. Two free throws by Devonte Elliott cut it to six with 12:16 to play.
UH extended its lead back to double digits but Valdes and Bobbitt combined to miss four straight free throws. CSUN crept back within nine.
Jankovic made a layup in traffic and earned a three-point opportunity, and CSUN’s Aaron Parks was issued a technical foul on the play. Jankovic went 1-for-3 at the line for an 81-68 lead with 3:05 left.
Parks hit a 3 to cut it to 10, but Jankovic got ahead of the Matadors’ fullcourt pressure and jammed it immediately. UH coasted from there.
Parks scored a career-high 21 points for CSUN.
UH shot 58.8 percent in a sizzling first half, capped by a 3-pointer by Garrett Nevels for a 50-34 halftime lead.
UH continues its road trip at Long Beach State on Saturday.