Late Thursday night, the Warriors gave a rude welcome to the visiting 49ers as they utterly dominated The Beach 94-73. The Warriors had 5 players in double-digits, as Hauns Brereton led Hawaii in points with 21, and Huskers transfer Christian Standhardinger added 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Vander Joaquim and Brandon Spearman also provided a significant presence with 18 and 16 points respectively. On the 49ers side, it was Tony Freeland, the DePaul transfer who led the way with 18 points and 7 rebounds, followed by Arizona State transfer Keala King with 14 points. Senior James Ennis provided only 13 points in what was at best, an extremely sluggish start for The Beach.
It was a game that got out of hand quickly: after a three to tie up the game with 17:40 left in the first half, Hawaii then went on a scoring rampage while the 49ers couldn't hit anything. At halftime the score was 53-20, with Long Beach appearing well done. From there, the 49ers attempted a furious comeback, and the Warriors found themselves only up 14 at the 11:30 mark. The Warriors managed to kill the clock though and win by 21, despite a 53 point second-half effort by the 49ers.
It was an extremely telling game, that left the 49ers only 1.5 games ahead of Pacific, 2 games ahead of Hawaii and 3 games ahead of Cal Poly and UCI. With 7 games left to go in the season, the Big West could prove to be volatile to whoever the No. 1 seed is by conference tournament time.