Rainbow Warriors ride late surge to win over Prairie View A&M

Drew Buggs
HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team got off to a quick start and overcame some second-half offensive struggles with dead-eye free throw shooting to defeat Prairie View A&M, 72-60, Wednesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

UH (5-2) was led by point guards Drew Buggs and Brocke Stepteau, who combined for 33 of the team’s points. Buggs set a career-high for the second straight game, finishing with 17 points, while adding five rebounds. Stepteau added a season-high 16 points, including a key three-pointer late in the game.

Senior forward Mike Thomas added 14 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.

UH went on a 9-0 run to start the game, were up by as many as 15 points, and led from wire-to-wire. However, the Panthers (2-6) stayed in the game with a pressure defense which led to 12 steals and 19 turnovers. Some cold shooting also kept PVAMU in as UH shot just 33 percent in the second half. That included a 12-minute stretch in which UH went without a field goal.

The ‘Bows, however, made up for that with their best free throw shooting performance of the season. UH, which entered the game, shooting 64 percent from the line, shot an 82 percent clip by converting 31-of-38.

After UH led by as many as 13 points in the second half, the Panthers cut the deficit to just four points on a Zachary Hamilton free throw with 3:26 left. Stepteau, though answered with a big three-pointer to end UH’s field goal drought. A pair of baskets by Buggs and Thomas on UH’s next two possession pushed UH’s lead to double-digits with left than 90 seconds left and the Bows never looked back.

UH held PVAMU to just 35 percent shooting and out-rebounded the Panthers, 41-29.

The Rainbow Warriors next play on Saturday, Dec. 9 when they take on intra-state rival UH Hilo. Tipoff is 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

#HawaiiMBB

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