Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Troy holds off Warriors, 65-63


Troy jumped out to a stunning 16-0 lead in the game’s opening five minutes, then held on in the second half to deny Hawai’i, 65-63, in thrilling non-conference men’s basketball action Friday night.

A Black-clad, Black Friday crowd of about 3,800 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched Jack Purchase score a game-high 21 points for the Rainbow Warriors, who fell to 3-3. Troy improved to 3-3.

Kevin Baker missed the first of two free throw attempts, but made the second to put the Trojans up, 65-63, with 4.5 seconds remaining. UH’s Noah Allen then went coast-to-coast but missed his layup attempt, and Gibson Johnson’s putback also missed as the horn went off.

After trailing 33-24 at halftime, UH began the second half with a 13-3 run capped by Leland Green’s 3-pointer to go up, 37-36, with 15:31 remaining in the game. The Trojans quickly took the lead back on Jordon Varnado’s free throw 25 seconds later and later built the lead to 53-44 after Daniel Peace’s two free throws with 8:11 left.

The Rainbow Warriors again clawed back and eventually tied it at 60-60 on Noah Allen’s fast-break layup off Gibson Johnson’s steal with 2:02 remaining, but Troy took the lead back on Alex Hicks’ two free throws 30 seconds later and went up, 64-60, on DeVon Walker’s free throw with 1:16 left. Johnson hit a free throw and then a putback with 1:02 remaining to close it to 64-63, but Baker made his free throw with 4.5 ticks left for the final margin.

On UH’s first seven possessions, the Rainbow Warriors committed five turnovers and had two shots blocked. The Trojans capitalized by jumping out to the 16-0 lead, before Hawai’i finally broke the ice with Purchase’s 3-pointer from the top of the key with 14:33 remaining in the half.

Troy extended the lead to 23-6 after Wesley Person’s 3-pointer from the top of the key eight minutes into the half, and was up, 27-11, after Jeremy Hollimon’s 10-foot baseline jumper with 9:30 left, but Ido Flaisher’s layup off Brocke Stepteau’s assist with 7:04 remaining ignited a 12-2 run capped by Purchase’s 3-pointer from the top of the key to cut it to 29-23 with 2:45 left.

The Trojans led by nine, 33-24, at halftime following Person’s two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining.

More details, including video highlights and interviews, will be posted later.

Game photo courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com

1 Comment

  1. Wow….that was probably the most frustrating game to watch in the history of UH home games. Let me break it down for you guys…

    Jack Purchase was a revelation tonight and was huge in helping cut down that huge lead and make the game even within reach. Stepteau also once again stepped up huge and was also a difference maker.

    Starting the game dribbling the ball RIGHT into the defender then continuing to turn it over on the next 5 possessions, falling into a 14 – 0 deficit within the first 5 minutes (is this football??)

    When turnovers are caused from pure laziness and sloppy ball handling, especially right out the gate. Then the constant blown layups, including 2 in the final seconds that could have at least sent the game into overtime.

    It’s one thing to lose a game against good competition, but losing to a Sun Belt bottom feeder? Troy will most likely not have a winning season this year and to lose to them at home….just wow. Growing pains is an understatement!!

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