Rainbow Warriors win thriller, capture Rainbow Classic title

Rainbow Warriors win thriller, capture Rainbow Classic title

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In one of the most epic tournament games in recent history, the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team beat Nevada 76-75 in a see-saw battle down the stretch to win the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic title.  Roderick Bobbitt's driving layup with only seconds remaining put the 'Bows ahead and lifted them to their first tourney title since 2012. The Blackout Night game at the Stan Sheriff Center tipped off at 11:00 p.m. and was televised live on ESPN2 as part of the network's Tip-Off Marathon.

Aaron Valdes (19 pts) provided the offense for Hawai'i (3-0) who at one point held a 16-point lead. Marqueze Coleman, who had a monster game for Nevada (2-1) with 34 points, nailed a three pointer to put his team up 68-65 with 2:36 to play. The 'Bows rallied and, after seven lead changes in the final 1:43, came out on top to hoist the classic trophy.

UH's poor free throw shooting (14-27) coupled by Coleman's second half onslaught nearly cost them the game, but clutch buckets down the stretch helped claim the win.

Bobbitt was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player with Sai Tummala and Valdes earning all-tournament honors. Bobbitt had 10 points, three assists and three rebounds with Tummala posting 10 points and five rebounds.

The 'Bows rolled out to an early 10-4 lead with Mike Thomas leading the way with two dunks, the first an open lane to the hoop. UH would go cold though, missing 10 straight shots before Valdes got his floater to fall to give the 'Bows a 14-13 lead. Tummala and Isaac Fleming would then drain back-to-back threes to push the lead back up to seven points. The 'Bows would slowly start to extend the lead as the Wolf Pack went on a nearly three-minute scoring drought. Late in the half Tummala hit his second three then Fleming came up with a steal and a basket with five seconds left to lift the 'Bows to a 40-28 halftime lead.
The lead would swell to 16 points early in the second half when Valdes connected on a three pointer but back-to-back buckets by Coleman prevented the 'Bows from blowing the game open. Nevada would mount a small rally though and after a D.J. Fenner (16 pts, 7 reb) three ball the Wolf Pack had cut the lead to five points. Quincy Smith (10 pts, 6 reb) stemmed the tide, converting an and-one to push the lead back up to eight points with 7:47 to play.

Hawaii Athletics Release