HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'I earned its first win of the year in dramatic fashion with a 74-68 come-from-behind win over Texas State in the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic Sunday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Warriors overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to rebound from Friday's disappointing season-opening loss and keep themselves alive for another Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic crown.
Four 'Bows scored in double-digits, led by Jack Purchase's 15 points. The sophomore, who added four assists, scored seven crucial points down the stretch, including four straight free throws in the final minutes to seal the UH win.
Fellow sophomore Sheriff Drammeh tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, while Noah Allen and Gibson Johnson chipped in 13 points each.
Two nights after falling in the final seconds to SIU Edwardsville, UH got off to a rough start. The 'Bows fell into a double-digits hole less than three minutes into the game as the Bobcats (1-1) scored the game's first 10 points.
UH trailed by as many as 14 in the first frame, before going into the locker room with a 38-26 deficit. Turnovers again plagued the Rainbow Warriors who had 10 in the first half, while the team again struggled from deep, going just 2-of-9 from behind the arc.
But that all changed in the second half. Trailing 63-58 with less than six minutes left, UH went on a 16-5 run to end the game, a run that included a big three-pointer by Leland Green and just one turnover. UH also showed some clutch free-throw shooting, going 11-of-12 down the stretch.
The 'Bows committed just four turnovers after the break and shot a sizzling 62 percent (13-of-21), including 5-of-9 on three-pointers. For the game UH assisted on 17 of tits 23 field goals. UH also won the battle of the boards, 34-29.
In earlier action, SIU Edwardsville won their second game of the tournament 77-68 decision over Florida Atlantic. The Cougars can claim the tournament title if they defeat Texas State in Monday's 6 p.m. matchup.
If not, UH has a shot at the championship when it faces Florida Atlantic at 11:15 p.m. It will be a Blackout night for the 'Bows as they participate in their ninth straight ESPN College Hoops Tip-off Marathon.