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Hawaii’s Allen named to All-Big West first team


    Hawaii guard Noah Allen made one last round in the Stan Sheriff Center after the Rainbow Warriors’ overtime win against the Cal State Fullerton Titans.

LONG BEACH, CALIF. >> Hawaii basketball graduate transfer Noah Allen was named to the All-Big West first team today, it was announced in the conference’s postseason awards.

Forwards Gibson Johnson and Jack Purchase were named all-conference honorable mentions for the Rainbow Warriors.

Allen, who came to UH from UCLA last summer, led all Big West players in scoring in conference games at 18.5 per game, and averaged 15.5 points overall. He also led the ’Bows in rebounding (5.9) and steals (31).

The 6-foot-7 wing Allen, of Pacific Grove, Calif., overcame a slump near the start of conference play to post nine of his 12 20-point games against league competition. He scored 30 or more points four times, becoming the fifth UH player to do that in a season in program history.

The complete first team was Allen; the UC Irvine backcourt of Jaron Martin and Luke Nelson; UC Davis’ inside-out combination of Chima Moneke and Brynton Lemar; and Cal State Fullerton guard Tre’ Coggins. Nelson was named Big West Player of the Year in leading UCI to the Big West regular-season championship, while the Anteaters’ Russell Turner was the Big West Coach of the Year.

UH (14-15, 8-8 BWC) was picked to finish eighth in the preseason after losing most of last season’s championship roster but exceeded expectations to finish fifth. UH faces fourth-seeded Long Beach State (14-18, 9-7) in the Big West tournament first round at the Honda Center on Thursday.

“We were fortunate enough to get a first-team all-conference and two honorable mentions for a team that was fifth place overall and had a chance for third or even second going into the final week with all the things we’ve been going through,” UH coach Eran Ganot said. “We appreciate what those guys have done and being rewarded for their sacrifices and efforts.”

Moneke, a junior college transfer, beat out Allen for Big West Newcomer of the Year.

Johnson, a 6-foot-8 junior college transfer who won a national championship at Salt Lake Community College, stepped in as the “in” man in UH’s four-out, one-in offense. He scored 11.2 points per game while shooting 50.8 percent to go with 4.8 rebounds per game. The Centerville, Utah, native led the team in blocks with 17.

Purchase, a 6-foot-8 Australian, fulfilled the role of “stretch 4” for the ’Bows. He redshirted last season as a transfer from Auburn and showcased his 3-point shooting this year, burying 72 from long range at a 39.8 percent clip. Overall, he was the team’s third-leading scorer at 9.9 points per game, and showcased a knack for passing for a big man at more than two assists per game.

BWC second-team honorees were: Long Beach State point guard Justin Bibbins and power forward Temidayo Yussuf; Cal Poly guard Ridge Shipley; Cal State Northridge point guard Kendall Smith; and Irvine 7-foot-2 center Ioannis Dimakopoulos.

Fullerton forward Jackson Rowe was named Big West Freshman of the Year.

For the league’s specialty awards, UC Davis’ Siler Schneider was named Best Sixth Player; UC Irvine’s Jonathan Galloway was the Best Defensive Player; and UC Davis point guard Darius Graham was the Best Hustle Player.

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