LOS ANGELES — Junior Madut had a season-high 23 points and Biwali Bayles hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 22 seconds left as Hawaii narrowly beat Cal State Northridge 75-74 on Friday.
Bayles finished with 12 points for Hawaii (8-7, 6-7 Big West Conference). James Jean-Marie added 11 points. Noel Coleman had 11 points.
UH led for nearly the entirety of the game and after a Coleman 3-pointer made it 69-57 with just more than four minutes left
But TJ Starks, the league’s top scorer, posted 11 points in a 17-3 run that gave CSUN its first lead since the opening minutes and made it 74-72 with 46 seconds remaining. Bayles answered with a 3 about 24 seconds later.
CSUN had a chance to win the game on the final possesion, but Starks missed a jumper and Darius Brown’s follow-up was also off the mark
Justin Webster, whose 13 points per game heading into the contest led the Rainbow Warriors, failed to make a shot (0 of 5).
Starks scored a career-high 31 points for the Matadors (7-9, 3-6). Darius Brown II added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists. Brendan Harrick had 11 points.
The Rainbow Warriors and Matadors will face off again on Saturday to wrap up the two-game series. Tipoff is 4:00 p.m.
The ‘Bows got off to a fast start in the game and built a lead that grew to as many as 14 points in the first half. UH cooled off and the Rainbow Warrior clung to a 36-34 lead at the break.
But UH got out of the gates fast in the second half and quickly built their lead back to double-digits. UH maintained that lead by going 7-of-15 from behind the arc, with all seven three-pointers coming in timely fashion from Madut (3), Bayles (2) and Coleman (2).