The University of Hawaii men's basketball game got off to furious start and never looked back in dismantling UC Riverside, 100-69, Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Warriors improved to 12-5 overall and 1-2 in the Big West with their first league win of the year.
After dropping its first two league games on the road, the 'Bows returned to the friendly confines of home where they got back on track—quickly and resoundingly. UH started the game on a 15-1 run and the outcome would never be in doubt the rest of the way as the 'Bows led by 26 points at halftime and by as many as 40 after the break.
UH hit the century mark for the second time this season and enjoyed its fourth victory of 30 or more points on the season. The 100 points was also the most UH has put up in a Big West game since joining the conference last year.
Christian Standhardinger led the way with 27 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Brandon Spearman was the sparkplug in the decisive first-half, when he scored 15 of his 18 points. Isaac Fotu poured in 16 points, while Garrett Nevels added 12.
Standhardinger alone out-scored the entire UCR (6-12, 1-3 BWC) starting five, who finished with 22 total points. The Highlanders got 47 points from their bench, led by Sam Finley's 19 points.
After scoring 15 of the first 16 points of the game, UH wouldn't let up and built its lead to 56-30 at the break, its highest first-half outcome of the year. UH held huge advantages at the free throw line (18-8) and on the boards (25-11) in the first frame, while the UC Riverside went 0-of-7 from three-point range.
The Highlanders, who rallied from 19 point down in their last game at UC Davis, could muster no such comeback this time. The second half was more of the same as UH built its lead to 86-46 with a little less than nine minutes remaining and emptied the bench thereafter. All 13 players who suited for UH saw action with 10 players getting in the scoring column.
Hawaii will now return to the road where they will play a pair of games in California, beginning with a contest at UC Davis on Thursday, Jan. 23. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. HT).
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