SALT LAKE CITY – The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team was competitive early on, but couldn’t keep up in an 80-60 loss at Utah Saturday night at the Huntsman Center. The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 4-2 following its first road game of the year.
UH trailed by just seven at half and by five early in the second half. But the Utes (6-1) ultimatley led from wire-to-wire and were never seriously threatened in the final 15 minutes while they maintained a double-digit margin.
UH simply couldn’t match the inside-out game of the Utes. Senior center David Collette led four Utes in double-figures with 16 points. Freshman forward Donnie Tillman added 16, while guards Gabe Bealer (14 points) and Justin Bibbins (13) combined for seven of the team’s eight three-pointers.
UH was led by freshman Drew Bugg’s career-high 14 points, with all but two of them coming in the first half. Buggs also added three assists, a block and a steal.Mike Thomas chipped in 12 points and team-high six rebounds.
Both teams started off cold, but Utah eventually built a 13-point lead in the first half. UH went on an 8-2 run to end the half, including a big three-pointer by Buggs to cut the deficit to 37-30 going into the locker room.
UH got within 39-34 early after the break, but the Utes scored eight of next 10 points of the game—including a pair of three-pointers—to build a double-digit that they would maintain for nearly the rest of the game.
Utah shot 45 percent from the floor and out-rebounded UH 46-32. UH continued to struggle from long-range, going just 4-of-22 from beyond the arc.
The Rainbow Warriors now return home to play the first of seven straight home games when it hosts Prairie View A&M on Wednesday, Dec. 6. Tipoff is 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.