The Rainbow Warrior basketball team improved their record to 4-1 on the season Monday night, in a hard-fought 87-77 victory over an athletic and explosive Adams State squad that fought to the final buzzer at the Stan Sheriff Center.
It took forward Gibson Johnson tying his career high of 19 points and some help from freshmen Samuta Avea (13 points) and Brandon Thomas (13 points) to get the Warriors over the top of the Grizzlies.
Jack Purchase’s shooting struggles continued on the night, going 0-of-4 from the field with zero points. Despite not scoring, Purchase’s impact was felt on the defensive end with good defense inside and five rebounds. He also recorded a game-high six assists.
Hawaii’s Mike Thomas also struggled, scoring two points on 1-of-2 shooting. Warrior head coach Eran Ganot told the media postgame that Thomas was still dealing with some discomfort in his wrist, but hopes a week of rehab before the team’s road trip will do the trick.
As for Adams State’s Mike Thomas, he had a monster game with 29 points and eight boards, punishing the Warriors in the paint for the majority of the game.
The Grizzlies were slowly slipping out of the game until an 11-0 run brought them within three points with under five minutes left, but a pair of three-pointers by Brocke Stepteau (12 points) and Leland Green (13 points) put the game on ice.
The Warriors won’t have another home game to prepared to for the rest of the week, but will travel to the mainland to take on Utah on Saturday.
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