Rainbow Warrior senior guard Sheriff Drammeh came off the bench and drilled in a career-high of 23 points to knock off 2018 Big West Conference champion Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Hawaiʻi (10-5, 1-0 BWC) edged the Cal State Fullerton Titans (4-11, 0-1 BWC) in a 79-68 win to open up conference play.
CSUF led 15-9 after the 'Bows had a three-minute scoring drought at 11:19. The 'Bows rallied back to trail 15-13 at 9:22, capped off by junior guard Eddie Stansberry's steal and layup.
Senior forward Jack Purchase and Drammeh nailed back-to-back 3s to take a 25-22 lead. Freshman center Dawson Carper made a slam dunk at 3:59 to extend the 'Bows lead to 27-22 with 3:59 left in the first half.
The Titans answered back with a 12-2 run to take a three-point lead, 34-31, heading into the half.
The 'Bows gathered momentum to score five straight points to lead 46-41 with 11:50 left in the game. Drammeh came in clutch with another three-pointer to extend the 'Bows lead to 55-48. Fullerton cut the deficit to four, but Drammeh hit another three-pointer to set up a 58-48 lead at 6:22.
Drammeh made his fourth three-pointer with three minutes left in the game. After another Titan layup, Stansberry hit another three-pointer from the corner with Purchase shooting to make it 72-64 with 1:16 left.
Drammeh was 7-of-8 for free throws and shot 4-of-7 for three-pointers in the 'Bows win.
Three other 'Bows also finished the night in double-digit figures: Stansberry with 16, Purchase with 14 and senior guard Brocke Stepteau with 10.
Titan senior guard Kyle Allman, who scored 40 points at the SSC last season, was held to 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. Senior guard Khalil Ahmad added 24 points and was 9-for-18 on shooting.
Next week the 'Bows play CSUN at Northridge for another BWC match-up on Jan. 17. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. HST.