The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team snapped its three-game losing streak thanks to junior guard Eddie Stansberry’s 19 points. The Rainbow Warriors secured their fifth win of the season in a 82-75 victory over against the UH Hilo Vulcans on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Warriors were only up 37-31 by the end of the first half, led by junior forward Zigmars Raimo who scored all 13 of his points in the first half.
The Vulcans fought all night and made the game a lot closer, trailing by just six points at the half and came within two in different occasions in the second half.
Stansberry hit five 3-pointers when the Vulcans trailed within two points in the second half. The 'Bows led 60-50, then 71-58.
"They were on a run, came in and hit some big shots. Credit to them," senior forward Jack Purchase said.
UH shot 54 percent, including 59 in the second half. UH Hilo shot 64 percent in the second half to finish 53 percent for the game.
“They gave a great effort today, diving for loose balls, they outscrapped us,” said 'Bows head coach Eran Ganot on the Vulcans performance tonight.
The 'Bows were eventually able to come through with the victory thanks to big plays down the stretch from sophomore guard Drew Buggs and senior guard Brocke Stepteau, winning the game in competitive fashion, 82-75.
"Our offense probably saved us," Ganot said. "But we have work to do. I’m careful with those words because that cannot be a disservice to what (UH Hilo) did today and what they’re about.”
Buggs added a season-high 16 points and seven assists, while Stepteau had 11 second-half points to hold off UH Hilo.
Despite the victory, the 'Bows still feel like there is much room to improve on.
“We got to do better as a unit, have each other’s backs on both sides of the ball,” Buggs said.
With the win, the 'Bows extend their win streak against the Vulcans to 11-0. UH Hilo was led by the trio of Kupaaa Harrison (21 points), Larry Bush (20) and Jalen Thompson (16).
UH returns to action when they host Mississippi Valley State on Sunday, Dec. 16 at the Stan Sheriff Center.