HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There were some nervous moments for the Rainbow Warriors basketball team in an exhibition game against HPU Wednesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center, but they were still able to come away with the victory, 90-70.
Facing a stiff test from HPU this early in the season could pay dividends for a young Warriors team looking to rotate new players into the lineup, including freshman guard Drew Buggs.
Buggs, who orchestrated the Warriors offense for the majority of the game, scoring 13 points while dishing out five assists and grabbing six rebounds.
Forward Gibson Johnson led the Warriors in scoring behind 18 points on a perfect shooting night, going 7-of-7 from the field.
The Warriors went up against a familiar face against HPU as well, trying to defend former Warrior Larry Lewis Jr. Lewis Jr. was active on the defensive side of the ball, but struggled to get things going offensively, scoring 15 points on 3-of-12 shooting. He did, however, get to the charity stripe nine times, converting eight free throws.
At the end of the first half, Hawaii held onto a 41-36 lead at the break. Knowing that they had to come out strong in the second, the Warriors burst out of the locker room and got out to a 22-15 run in the first 10 minutes of the half.
However, HPU wouldn't give in easy, bringing the game back to seven points with 5:30 remaining the final period.
Led by strong second half performances from Johnson and Mike Thomas, who finished with 17 points and three boards, the Warriors were able to come away with the victory and take the lessons they learned from tonight to prepare for their first regular season game of the new season on November 10 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff at the Stan Sheriff Center.