HONOLULU – Five players scored in double figures but it wasn't enough as the University of Hawai‘i men's basketball team fell to UC Irvine, 78-72, in Big West Conference action on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Isaac Fleming had a team-high 14 points for the ‘Bows who fall to 14-7 and 2-3 in the Big West. Garrett Nevels had 13 points and equaled his career high of nine rebounds.
Will Davis led the Anteaters (11-8, 4-1 Big West) with 17 points on 8-12 of shooting. As a team, UC Irvine shot 67% (10-15) from beyond the arc.
The ‘Bows could not find the basket early on but it was their 12 offensive rebounds through the first 10 minutes that kept the game close. Fleming's jumper cut the lead to 30-29 with four minutes to play, but Jaron Martin (13 pts) drained back-to-back threes, the last a 32-foot bomb to give UCI a 42-34 lead at the break.
The ‘Bows trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half but cut the deficit to just one point with under a minute to play before timely Anteater shots nailed the lid on UH's coffin.
The turnstile attendance of 8,761 was the highest of the season.
The ‘Bows now look ahead to an 11-day, four-game Big West road trip beginning this Thursday, Jan. 29 at CSUN.