Hawaii led most of the way, but Cal State Fullerton got 40 points from Kyle Allman on the way to a 69-66 win tonight that knocked the host Rainbow Warriors out of first place in the Big West Conference men’s basketball standings.
A season-high turnstile crowd of 5,778 at the Stan Sheriff Center saw UH lose for the first time after four straight wins. The Rainbow Warriors (4-2, 13-6 overall) lost their percentage-points lead over Long Beach State (6-2, 12-12). UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis, both just a game behind in the standings, also won Saturday.
The Titans improved to 5-3 and 12-8 after coming back from a deficit as large as 11 points in the second half.
Mike Thomas scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half as Hawaii led 41-35 at the break and expanded the lead to 48-37. But Fullerton chipped away and went up 67-65 on Jackson Rowe’s basket with 1:46 left.
Drew Buggs was fouled with 12.1 seconds left, but made just the second of two free throws.
Austen Awosika then went to the line for the Titans with 11.4 seconds left and made two free throws to put Fullerton up 69-66.
Buggs missed an off-balance 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Jack Purchase scored 11 points for UH and Gibson Johnson added 10.
Rowe had 14 for CSF.
Allman’s 40 points were one off the arena record of 41 set by Chase Fischer of BYU and matched by Josh Akognon of Fullerton.