HONOLULU – For the third straight game the University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team found themselves in a nail-biter at home. But this time the ending was different as UC Davis made all the plays down the stretch to hand UH a 76-70 loss Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Aggies (12-8, 4-1 BWC) nailed a trio of three-pointers in the final five minutes and got 26 points and 13 rebounds from Chima Moneke to escape with the win. UH (8-10, 2-3 BWC) lost despite another stellar performance from Noah Allen who finished just shy of his second-straight double-double with 26 points and nine rebounds.
It was another close, back-and-forth game with 10 ties and 15 lead changes and the biggest lead being just six points. The ‘Bows held a slight 33-32 lead at the break on the strength of 15 points from Allen. But UC Davis went 9-2 run to start the second half to enjoy the biggest lead of the night by either team, 41-35.
The rest of the of the half was a see-saw affair and when Brocke Stepteau scooped in a layup, UH held a 69-68 lead with two minutes left. The Aggies, however, responded right back with a Lawrence Wright three pointer—their third straight successful attempt — that put them up for good with 1:39 left. UH couldn’t convert on their next two possessions and the Aggies sealed the game with their final five points from the free throw line.
Brynton Lemar chipped in 18 points for the Aggies, while Gibson Johnson finished with 14 points, despite sitting most of the first half with foul trouble. UH committed just 10 turnovers for the game, but struggled from three-point range, hitting just 4-of-15 from behind the arc.
The Rainbow Warrior will continue its homestand with a contest versus UC Riverside on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.