The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team overcame a shaky start before eventually finding a rhythm in a 64-44 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff Sunday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Warriors improved to 4-3 and bounced back from Friday’s disappointing last-second loss to Troy.
Gibson Johnson led four ‘Bows in double-digits with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting and was a force down low as UH out-scored the Golden Lions 32-12 in the paint. Jack Purchase added 11 points and four assists, while Matt Owies and Larry Lewis provided a spark off the bench. The pair combined for 21 points with Lewis scoring all 10 of his points in the decisive second half.
For the second straight game UH got off to a miserable start. UH missed 13 of its first 14 shot and struggled against Pine Bluff’s zone defense early. Yet despite making just one field in the first nine minutes of the game and going 0-of-12 on three-pointers in the first 20 minutes, UH eventually took a 29-22 lead into the locker room. The Rainbow Warriors forced 13 Pine Bluff turnovers and got to the line 15 times in the first half alone.
UH broke the game open after the break. The ‘Bows scored the first four points of the second half to take a double-digit lead and then capitalized on a six-minute scoring drought by the Golden Lions (1-5) to expand its lead to as many as 23 points.
UH shot 65 percent in the second half and ended the game with 25 points off of 23 Pine Bluff turnovers as the team finished with a team-high 10 steals.
The Rainbow Warriors next participate in the FS1 Pearl Harbor Invitational, Dec. 6-7, at historic Bloch Arena. The ‘Bows will open the event on Tuesday, Dec. 6 vs. Seton Hall at 4:30 p.m. HT.