SALT LAKE CITY (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii men's basketball team gave a gritty effort before eventually succumbing to No. 21 ranked Brigham Young, 78-57, Saturday afternoon at the EnergySolutions Arena. UH dropped to 5-2 with its second straight road loss.
Playing its first ranked team in more than three years before a crowd of 13,312 in an NBA arena gave the 'Bows plenty of motivation. UH gave a full throttle effort but couldn't overcome an ice-cold shooting performance. The Rainbow Warriors shot a season-low 31 percent from the floor, including just 1-of-13 from the three-point territory. Meanwhile, the Cougars used a decisive run late in the first half to help seal the win.
Senior Hiram Thompson led UH with 15 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Joston Thomas added 12 points and six rebounds, while sophomore post Vander Joaquim continued his strong play with 12 points and 12 rebounds. It marked the first double-double performance by a Rainbow Warrior this season.
All-American Jimmer Fredette scored a game-high 16 points for the Cougars (8-0) who remained undefeated on the year.
UH went with a youthful lineup, starting two sophomores and three freshman. Despite some poor shooting the 'Bows hung tough and trailed the Cougars by just four, 23-19, with less than seven minutes left in the half. BYU, however, out-scored UH 20-8 the final 6:43 of the half to take a 43-27 lead into the locker room.
The Rainbow Warriors continued to battle in the second half and trailed by just 12 points, four minutes into the half. However, the Cougars, behind an efficient offense that shot 50 percent and tallied 17 assists to just nine turnovers, slowly pulled away.
Despite a 21-point loss, UH showed its moxie by out-rebounding the Cougars 43-33. A total of 20 of UH's rebounds came on the offensive end with Joaquim pulling in nine. The 'Bows also stayed in the game by getting to the free throw line where they converted 20-of-23 attempts.
UH now returns for its next five games in Hawai'i as the 'Bows will next face Hawaii Pacific on Saturday, Dec. 11. Tipoff is 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.