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Warriors slip past Florida Atlantic, 64-63

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Gibson Johnson scored a layup with 6.3 seconds remaining early this morning to lift the University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team to a thrilling 64-63 victory over Florida Atlantic in the Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic.

A vocal black-clad crowd of about 2,300 at the Stan Sheriff Center and ESPN “Tip-off Marathon” national TV audience watched as the Rainbow Warriors improved to 2-1. The Owls fell to 0-3.

Hawai’i led, 40-32, after Johnson’s reverse layup with 16:24 left in the game, but FAU chipped away and eventually tied it at 51-51 on Ronald Delph’s putback with 7:08 remaining. The Owls later took a 61-59 lead on Delph’s putback of his own miss with 1:46 left, then went up, 63-59, after Nick Rutherford’s layup high off the glass on a drive down the left side of the lane.

Johnson then converted a three-point play to close it to 63-62 with 49 seconds remaining, and Rutherford missed the front end of a one-and-one with 23.3 ticks on the clock. After a timeout, the Rainbow Warriors fed the ball inside to Johnson, who spun to his right and scored over the 7-foot Delph.

Noah Allen led UH with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Johnson and Sheriff Drammeh each added 13 points.

Hawai’i led, 30-27, at halftime after 20 minutes of mostly ragged basketball.

FAU jumped out to an 11-6 lead in the first five minutes, but the Rainbow Warriors responded with back-to-back 3-pointers by Drammeh and Allen to tie it at 12-12 with 11:53 remaining in the half. The Owls quickly took the lead back and went up, 24-20, after Jeantal Cylla’s 3-pointer from the top of the key at the 5:01 mark.

Allen then put back his own miss with 3:42 left to start UH on an 8-0 run capped by Ido Flaisher’s two free throws to push the Rainbow Warriors ahead, 28-27, with 1:33 remaining. FAU cut it to 28-27 on Adonis Filer’s 3-pointer 10 seconds later, but Drammeh sank two free throws with 2.9 seconds on the clock to give Hawai’i a 30-27 halftime lead.

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

(Game photo courtesy Brandon Flores / www.brandonfloresphotography.com)

Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic
Friday’s results

Texas State 61, Florida Atlantic 57
SIU-Edwardsville 69, Hawai’i 68

Sunday’s results
SIU-Edwardsville 77, Florida Atlantic 68
Hawai’i 74, Texas State 68

Monday’s results
Texas State 86, SIU-Edwardsville 58
Hawai’i 64, Florida Atlantic 63

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