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ESPN Tip-off Marathon: Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Top CS-Northridge Matadors, 86-67

Shaquille Stokes (4) is defended by Cal-State Northridge's Vinnie McGhee in Hawaii's season-opening 86-67 win in Honolulu, HI. Photo credit: UH Media Relations
Shaquille Stokes (4) is defended by Cal-State Northridge's Vinnie McGhee in Hawaii's season-opening 86-67 win in Honolulu, HI. Photo credit: UH Media Relations
Kevin RileyContributor INovember 15, 2011

The University of Hawaii men's basketball team opened its season today with a win over Cal-State Northridge as part of ESPN's fourth annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.

Tip-off for the nationally-televised game was at 11:00 p.m. local time, which is 4:00 a.m. in Bristol, CT, the home of ESPN which is broadcasting 25 straight hours of college basketball featuring 21 men's and women's games.

Sophomore forward Trevor Wiseman led the way for the Rainbow Warriors with his first career double-double, scoring 19 points while grabbing 16 rebounds. Senior guard Zane Johnson added a game-high 24 points and played a game-high 37 minutes.

The contest was close at halftime when the 'Bows led 37-34, but Hawaii quickly took control of the game in the second half with a 33-11 run en route to an 86-67 final at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The loss dropped the Matadors to 0-2 on the season after they pushed the University of Southern California to the limit last week before falling late, 66-59.

This season holds much potential for the Rainbow Warriors in head coach Gib Arnold's second year on the job. Last season, Arnold guided the 'Bows to a 19-13 record and their first postseason appearance since 2003-2004. Hawaii went 1-1 in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

Red-shirt freshman Stephan Hicks led the way for Northridge with 22 points and 17 rebounds. The Matadors shot 31 percent (22-71) from the field while the Rainbow Warriors shot 48 percent (27-56). Both teams came away with 38 rebounds.

"Honestly, going into this game I was nervous," Arnold said after the game.

"I saw their game against USC, I saw how they changed up the defenses and they were up four with just a couple minutes (remaining) at USC. So I was a little bit nervous with this game but I thought the guys did a good job.

"They handled it well, they were able to recognize the defenses and do what we wanted to do according to our scout."

Hawaii's next game is against No. 23 Gonzaga on November 19 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada.

It will be Hawaii's second international trip in four months. The 'Bows played five exhibition games in China and Japan in August, going 3-2 against an assortment of professional teams.

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