Josh Greene scored 27 points, hitting several key baskets for Cal State Northridge, as the Matadors slipped by the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in overtime, 87-84, in the quarterfinals of the Big West Conference Tournament at the Honda Center.
Greene finished 4-of-8 behind the 3-point line and a perfect 9-of-9 at the free-throw line for the fifth-seeded Matadors (16-17), who are now set up to face third-seeded Long Beach State in the semifinals on Friday night. Also scoring in double figures for CSUN were Stephan Hicks and Aaron Parks with 21 and 13 points, respectively.
The Rainbow Warriors (20-11), the fourth seed in this year's tourney, were led by Christian Standhardinger who tallied a game-high 28 points and also cleared nine rebounds in the setback. Keith Shamburger accounted for 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, followed by Brandon Spearman with 17 points. Isaac Fotu, who along with Standhardinger was named to the Big West Conference First Team, was limited to a mere six points and seven rebounds in 39 minutes of action.
Hawaii fell behind by as many as 16 points in the first half as it allowed the Matadors to shoot 60.0 percent from the field and watched the opposition convert 12-of-15 at the free-throw line, en route to a 42-36 edge at the break.
The momentum swung in favor of the Rainbow Warriors in the second half as they hit on 52.0 percent from the floor, but despite leading by as many as 13 midway through the frame, Hawaii saw the meeting tighten up in the waning moments of regulation.
Shamburger gave the Rainbow Warriors a 74-71 lead with a late layup and the shot clock winding down, but CSUN came right back down the floor and tied the game with a 3-pointer by Greene with just 11.8 seconds remaining.
Shamburger had control of the ball on the last possession and tried to find his way to the basket, but his shot attempt was turned away, sending the meeting into overtime.
With just over a minute remaining in the bonus session, Greene struck again for the Matadors, converting a 3-pointer to lock the score at 81-81. At the other end, Shamburger responded with a pull-up jumper to again push Hawaii ahead by two, while a free throw shortly thereafter made it a three-point advantage.
On the following possession, the Rainbow Warriors opted to foul Greene around midcourt, rather than allowing him to get off another 3-point try. Greene connected on both attempts at the charity stripe to draw CSUN to within a point, 84-83, with 18.7 seconds remaining.
Hawaii was set to inbound the ball and potentially run out the clock, but after gaining control of the ball, Shamburger slid out of bounds along the baseline, giving possession back to the Matadors with 17.7 seconds on the clock.
Stephen Maxwell drove to the rim for the Matadors, went up against Fotu and knocked down a short jumper off the glass with 12.2 seconds to play.
The Rainbow Warriors again rushed the ball down the floor trailing by one, but Fotu was called for an offensive foul on a screen, giving the ball back to Northridge once more.
Tre Hale-Edmerson was sent to the free-throw line where he knocked down a pair, giving CSUN an 87-84 lead. Spearman had a chance to send the meeting into a second overtime, but his 3-point attempt from the wing missed the mark.