Hawaii beats Long Beach State in Big West men's basketball

Jan. 15—Noel Coleman scored 19 of his season-high 25 points in the second half to boost the Hawaii basketball team to tonight's 79-70 victory over Long Beach State.

A crowd of 4,198 at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center saw the 'Bows score 10 of the final 12 points to improve to 13-4 overall and 4-1 in the Big West. The Beach fell to 8-10 and 2-4.

The Beach won the paint wars 50-28, but the 'Bows dominated at the line, hitting 22 of 27 free throws. The Beach finished 10-for-16 at the line.

Samuta Avea hit three 3s and finished with 17 points for the 'Bows.

Long Beach forward Lassina Traore, who entered as the league's top rebounder, had four points and three boards before fouling out with 6:11 to play.

UH plays host to Cal State Northridge on Monday, with tip-off set for 5 p.m.

>> PHOTOS: Hawaii vs. Long Beach State

The 'Bows bounced back from horrendous early shooting to take a 30-27 lead at the intermission.

It appeared the Beach would be sluggish after arriving in Honolulu at 3 a.m. today following a 13-hour flight delay. They did not check into the hotel until 4 a.m. Instead, the Beach raced to a 14-6 lead and out-hustled the 'Bows at both ends. At one point, the 'Bows missed 19 of 22 shot, including all nine from behind the arc.

But the 'Bows were able to force the action with drives into the lane. They hit all eight of their first-half free throws. The Beach did not attempt a free throw until 51.4 seconds left in the first half. Amari Stroud's free throw on and-1 play broke a 26-all tie.

But the 'Bows took the lead on Kamaka Hepa's tip of his own miss, and Bernardo da Silva closed the half with a driving layup.