HONOLULU – Michael Williams' three-pointer with 18 seconds left on the clock brought Cal State Fullerton with one point, but a questionable long-distance attempt by the senior with nine seconds remaining sealed an 81-77 win for Hawai'i at the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday night bringing an end to the regular season.
Williams finished the game with 17 points, and brought the Titans (11-19, 6-10 Big West) within one, 78-77, with 18 seconds left to play by knocking down his second three-pointer of the game. Fullerton fouled on its next possession and sent UH's Keith Shamburger to the line. The junior hit just one-of-two leaving the door open for the Titans to even the game or go-ahead on their ensuing possession.
Williams pulled up on his dribble and fired a long distance three-point attempt that was well-off the mark as nine seconds still remained in the game.
The Titans were then forced to foul, and Shamburger made two at the line with four seconds left to seal the Rainbow Warriors (20-10, 9-7 Big West) win.
Fullerton now enters the Big West Conference Tournament on a two-game losing streak, but before the final buzzer sounded on Saturday night, the fate of the Titans had already been determined.
Fullerton, the No. 6 seed for the Big West Tournament, will play third-seeded Long Beach State at 2:30 p.m., Thursday in the quarterfinals. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Prime Ticket from the Honda Center.
The 49ers hold a 1-7 edge against the Titans at the Big West Tournament, and LBSU and Fullerton will meet for the second straight year. A season ago, top-seeded Long Beach State ended eighth-seed Cal State Fullerton's season with a 75-66 win in the first round.
On Saturday night in Honolulu, Fullerton senior Marquis Horne led Cal State Fullerton with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and a 6-of-8 effort from the free-throw line.
In addition to his 17 points, Williams set a new career high grabbing a team-leading nine rebounds, while Josh Gentry scored a career-high 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting while matching a career-high sinking three three-pointers.
Alex Harris poured in 12 points as the fourth Titan in double figures. Cal State Fullerton received just five points from its bench.
Hawai'i was led by Christian Standhardinger's double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds. Isaac Fotu scored a game-high tying 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while Shamburger scored each of his 14 points at the line, shooting 14-of-16 from the charity stripe, while dishing a team-high five assists.
Five Rainbow Warriors scored in double figures as Brandon Spearman chipped in 13 points, and Garrett Nevels totaled 14.
After a Nevels' jumper, Fullerton trailed 53-40 with 15:58 left in the second half, but the Titans used a 16-3 run to tie the game at 56-56 as 10:22 remained as the trio of Horne, Harris and Williams were responsible for the scoring during that stretch.
Fullerton's only lead of the second half followed a Harris three-pointer as the Titans' held a slim 65-64 advantage with 4:37 left to play. But UH battled back and led 74-67 as just 1:18 remained until Williams knocked a pair of free throws and Gentry nailed a trey. Horne also nailed a long distance bucket with 33 seconds left as Fullerton trailed 77-74.
The Titans shot 43.1 percent from the floor, but had a solid 14-of-17 effort from the free-throw line.
Hawai'i shot 49.1percent from the floor and held a slim 35-34 rebounding edge.
Single session tickets for the 2014 Big West Basketball Tournament are on sale to the general public. Fans can purchase tickets at the Honda Center Box Office, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster retail outlets, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Honda Center Box Office hours are from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Student/youth tickets can be purchased through each school's individual box office or at Honda Center on the day of the game.
The men's tournament begins on Thursday at Honda Center with four quarterfinal games. The semifinals and championship games for both the men and the women will take place Friday and Saturday at Honda Center.
Tickets for the event range from $10-$22 for general admission seats for the women's tournament games and $30-$38 for reserved seating to the men's tournament games. Big West students with a valid student I.D. and youth ages 3-17 can purchase a ticket to any Honda Center session for $10. Big West student/youth tickets will be $5 for women's first round and quarterfinal games.
Notes: With 17points, Michael Williams streak of double-figure scoring games was extended to 30 games. The senior also set a new career high with nine rebounds…Cal State Fullerton was swept by Hawai'i during the 2013-14 season…senior Marquis Horne set career highs with five assist and six made free throws…Josh Gentry scored a career-high 17 points.