Hawaii beats Cal Poly for sixth win in a row

Jan. 1—JoVon McClanahan, Noel Coleman and Kamaka Hepa each scored 12 points to lead the University of Hawaii basketball team to a 57-48 victory over Cal Poly on Saturday in SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

Ending the calendar year with a defensive resolve, the University of Hawaii basketball grinded out a 57-48 victory over Cal Poly in SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.

By winning their sixth in a row—and fifth in 10 nights—the'Bows improved to 11-3 overall and 2-0 in the Big West.

"These are hard, " UH coach Eran Ganot said. "This is one of the hardest stretches I've been a part of, five games in 10 days. Diamond Head (Classic ) play was a battle. League play is a battle. Our guys gutted it out at the end. They made their free throws at the end. They made big plays at the end."

The'Bows scored the first 16 points of the game as the Mustangs turned the ball over five times and misfired on 11 shots in the first nine minutes. But that lead was written in chalk.

"We just didn't make our layups, " Cal Poly coach John Smith said of the early deficit. "We had good looks in the beginning. When that happens, tensions start to mount up, and guys get a little tense. So we called a timeout (after falling behind 8-0 ) to try to get them to relax. I kind of joked : 'they're not going to hold us scoreless the whole game. I want you to know that. You know that.' Just trying to get them to relax."

The Mustangs eventually found their inside game (36 paint points ) while denying the'Bows' outside attack (1-for-11 on 3s ).

The Mustangs closed to 52-48 on Kobe Sanders' slam with 2 :13 to play.

Then the'Bows' defense tightened, and the Mustangs would not hit another field goal the rest of the way. Twice they tried to force the ball inside only to be denied by 6-foot-9 post Benardo da Silva, who picked up a loose ball for steal and partially deflected a gimme shot.

The'Bows scored their final five points on free throws.

"We got it to four, and turned the ball over there, " Smith said. "We've got to do a better job—I've got to do a better job—of putting guys in position where that doesn't happen. We'll be better."