HONOLULU – Isaac Fleming had a career-high 21 points, Aaron Valdes led all scorers with 25 points but the University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team was plagued by foul trouble for most of the second half on a 82-74 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena.
Foul disparity was the story of the game as the ‘Bows were called for nearly double (30-16) the number fouls to that of the Red Raiders (4-1), leading to Roderick Bobbitt, Stefan Jankovic and Mike Thomas each fouling out.
Devaughntah Williams led Texas Tech with 19 points, hitting on all nine of his free throws while tying teammate Aaron Ross with a team-high seven rebounds.
Stefan Jovanovic pulled down a game-high nine rebounds, playing big minutes off the bench for Jankovic (8 pts, 3 reb). Bobbitt had a shot for his second career triple-double but spent large chunks of the second half on the bench, finishing with four points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.
The ‘Bows put together a solid first-half and led by as many as 11 points. A 10-2 spurt highlighted by a pair of Fleming threes from Bobbitt gave Hawai’i a 17-13 lead with just under 12 minutes remaining in the first half. UH pushed the lead to double digits but saw Texas Tech close the half on an 8-1 run and cut the Rainbow Warrior lead to just one point entering the break.
The second half saw the Red Raiders use an early 7-0 run to take a 49-45 lead three minutes in. Valdes would keep the ‘Bows in it, scoring his team’s first 11 points of the half capped by a three pointer to shave the lead to 53-52 with 14:18 to play. Valdes hit another triple with just over eight minutes to play to again bring UH to within a point, but Hawai’i would get no closer.
UH returns home and next takes the hardwood on Wednesday, Dec. 2 against Arkansas Pine-Bluff. Tip-off at the Stan Sheriff Center is set for 7:00 p.m.