Warriors open season with a victory over Montana State
The Eran Ganot era of University of Hawai’i basketball started with a win at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Warriors defeated Montana State, 87-76, on the opening night of the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic, which also served as Ganot’s opening game as head coach of the program.
Hawai’i led from start to finish, and never allowed the Bobcats to get within double-digits of the lead for most of the game.
Aaron Valdes led the Warriors with 18 points and eight rebounds. Three other Hawai’i players scored double-figure points.
Sai Tummala came off the bench to score 17, including 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range. He hit his first five 3-point attempts of the game before missing one in the second half.
Stefan Jankovic had 15 points and 11 rebounds; Roderick Bobbitt had 10 points, 14 assists and five steals.
Hawai’i shot 52 percent from the field, while limiting Montana State to 44 percent.
The Warriors hit their first six shots of the game and took an early 14-6 lead. They later went on a 14-3 surge to increase the lead to 34-20, and never looked back.
A 12-0 run later in the half increased the lead to 46-24, and the Warriors eventually took a 48-27 lead at intermission.
Jankovic had 13 points and seven rebounds in the first half, and Tummala added 11 points, including 3-for-3 shooting from 3-point range.
The game was never in doubt in the second half, as the Warriors led by as many as 26 points in the second half, and the closest Montana State got was 11 with less than three minutes remaining.
The Warriors will continue play in the Rainbow Classic on Sunday, when they host Coastal Carolina at 4:30 p.m.
Nevada defeated Coastal Carolina, 73-56, in Friday’s first game of the Classic.
More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be posted later.
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