HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii men’s basketball team battled through early adversity to pull off a 72-67 come-from-behind victory over Pacific on the final evening of the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center.
One night after falling short in a comeback bid against South Dakota, the Rainbow Warriors (2-1) were able to get over the hump this time around, overcoming an eight-point deficit in the final four minutes.
Sharpshooter Eddie Stansberry was the offensive spark spark, tying his career-high with 26 points to lead the comeback charge.
Trailing 62-54, UH exploded for 18 points in the final four minutes of the game. UH started the surge with 10 unanswered points off a trio of three-pointers, capped by a Stansberry four-point play that put UH up 64-62.
After Pacific tied the game, 64-64, UH went ahead for good on a Zigmars Raimo layup with just 44 seconds remaining.
UH then came up with the defensive play of the game as Mate Colina forced a UOP turnover on a trap and point guard Drew Buggs sprinted the length of the court to retrieve the ball at the end line to give UH possession.
The 'Bows, hit six straight clutch free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal the win.
For the game, UH finished 16-of-17 from the line, Buggs finished with 13 points and four assists, while Amari McCray led three Tigers (2-2) in double-digits with 16 points.
UH finished runner-up in the Rainbow Classic with a 2-1 record. South Dakota, which held off Florida A&M, 85-82, in the first game of the day, claimed the tournament title with a 3-0 mark.
Warriors Forward Samuta Avea and guard Eddie Stansberry were named to the All Tournament Team, and South Dakota’s Stanley Umude took home the tournament MVP.
The Rainbow Warriors will be back in action on Friday, Nov. 15 when they face Portland State out of the Big Sky Conference. Tip-off is 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.