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Hawaii men’s basketball holds off Cal State Bakersfield

STEVEN ERLER / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
                                Hawaii guard JoVon McClanahan drives to the basket while defended by Cal State Bakersfield guard Ivan Reynolds.
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STEVEN ERLER / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER

Hawaii guard JoVon McClanahan drives to the basket while defended by Cal State Bakersfield guard Ivan Reynolds.

Kamaka Hepa and JoVon McClanahan each scored 17 points to lead the Hawaii basketball team to a 72-69 victory over Cal State Bakersfield tonight in SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

The Roadrunners, who trailed by as many as 18, closed to 54-50 on Cameron Smith’s jumper with 6:51 to play. But UH’s Beon Riley completed a three-point play and Bernardo da Silva hit a turn-around jumper to build a cushion.

There were 10 fouls called in the final 1:35.

UH’s Noel Coleman hit a free throw with 3.5 seconds left to give UH an insurmountable 72-66 lead.

CSUB’s Travis Henson’s 3 as the horn sounded capped the scoring.

UH improved to 16-6 overall and 7-3 in the Big West.

The Roadrunners, playing without their top two point guards, fell to 6-15 and 2-8.

Hepa buried four first-half 3s, including a trey with six seconds remaining, to boost the ’Bows to a 45-28 lead at the intermission.

After enduring first-half lapses in recent games, the ’Bows fired out from the opening tip. Samuta Avea hit two 3s as the ’Bows scored the first 11 points.

Point guard McClanahan contributed 11 first-half points. On one play, McClanahan drove the left side and banked in a left-handed layup. Coleman, a left-handed off guard, was forced to his right side, where he went against the flow to bury a shot. And all of Hepa’s first-half field goals were launched from behind the arc. After Hepa missed a 3, Riley chased down the rebound. Riley fired back to Hepa, who hit the 3.

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