HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team dropped its first game of the season with a 67-54 loss to Nevada Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
This was the 33rd meeting between former Western Athletic Conference rivals. Two years ago, UH (3-1) clipped the Wolf Pack by one point in their first meeting since splitting conference ways. This time, however, Nevada (6-0) used a late first-half run to build a double-digit halftime lead, a lead they would not relinquish to remain undefeated.
UH did a solid job defensively, holding an explosive Nevada squad to well below their season average of 87.8 ppg. However, the ‘Bows suffered through their worst offensive performance of the young season with a season-low in points, while shooting just 39 percent. UH was just 3-of-16 on three-pointers, 11-of-21 from the line and turned the ball over a season-high 17 times.
Nevada’s dynamic brothers Caleb (22 points) and Cody Martin (16) led the way for Nevada with 38 combined points. UH was led by Brocke Stepteau who scored 10 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting.
UH’s top two players—Mike Thomas and Gibson Johnson—were saddled on the bench for the majority of the first half. Still UH hung tough and neither team led by more than three points through the first 17 minutes of the first half. However, Nevada went on a 13-1 in the final five minutes to take a 34-24 lead into the locker room.
The Wolf Pack carried that momentum through the first five minutes of the second half, building it’s lead to 13 points. UH did make a run, cutting the deficit to just four points, 46-42, on a Sheriff Drammeh bucket with just under nine minutes left, but that would be as close as it would get.
The Rainbow Warriors will be back on the court on Monday, Nov. 27 when they host Adams State. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.