HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team opened its 2019-20 campaign with a defensive inspired 65-52 win over Florida A&M in the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Warriors were led by acting head coach Chris Chris Gerlufsen, as UH head coach Eran Ganot, announced just two days prior to the tip-off of the season he would take a medical leave of absence.
The team came out inspired and energetic to start the contest.
Their team defense would stifle the Rattlers (0-2) offense, holding the squad to just 12 points in the decisive first half.
UH’s Samuta Avea the 'Bows with a career-high 15 points and nine rebounds.
True freshman forward Bernado da Silva instantly made an impact in his UH debut with 11 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks in 18 minutes off the bench.
Meanwhile, junior point guard Drew Buggs paced the Warriors offensive attack, with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists.
UH led from wire-to-wire and broke the game open early by holding FAMU scoreless for nearly 10 minutes in the first half.
The Rattlers went on to shoot just 20 percent from the field and turned the ball over 10 times as the 'Bows took a commanding 32-12 lead into the locker room.
UH led by 20 at the half despite their own offensive struggles, shooting 31 percent from the field, including 3-15 from beyond the arc.
With the victory, UH moved to a perfect 15-0 against MEAC schools.
In the first game of the tournament, South Dakota defeated Pacific, 72-62.
The Rainbow Warriors will be back in action on Sunday, Nov. 10 when they take on South Dakota at 5:00 p.m. Florida A&M and Pacific proceed that contest at 2:30 p.m.