Half way through the final game on opening day of the Diamond Head Classic, it looked like Hawaii could do that unthinkable - upset a No. 6 Miami Hurricanes team that came to the 808 undefeated.
The Rainbow Warriors entered the 8:00 p.m. tip-off energetic, supplemented by an electric home crowd that was hoping for a holiday miracle. But, after staying neck and neck with the 'Canes until halftime, when both teams were tied up at 33 points a piece, Hawaii's upset bid fell short. A late offensive push from Miami would result in an 18-point (75-57) loss for U.H..
"I think we showed some flashes today. We showed some moments. I appreciate the crowd," said Hawaii head coach, Eran Ganot. "I appreciate some of the guys - disappointed, if anything, in the way we unravelled."
After holding a potent Miami offense to just 33 points through the first frame, Hawaii was outscored 42-24 in the second half.
"I think they made some adjustments to get us out of our offensive rythm," said Ganot on the momentum shift in the second half. "That unfortunately carried over to our defensive end which is something we take a great deal of pride in regardless of whether we're playing an elite offensive team. "
The Rainbow Warriors will return to action at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. They'll face a Davidson team that lost by just one point to New Mexico State in the final seconds of Friday's game.
While Hawaii will undoubtedly be looking for a different result, there is one aspect of the Rainbow Warriors performance that Ganot says he hopes remains the same.
"I thought the energy was electric," said Ganot. "I thought we were winning the hustle plays, the loose balls. I though we were making big plays."
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