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Warriors hold off Davidson, 79-71

Sheriff Drammeh scored a career-high 22 points, and Gibson Johnson tied his career-high with 19 points to lead the University of Hawai’i basketball team to a 79-71 victory over Davidson in a consolation semifinal game of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday night.

The Rainbow Warriors rebounded for the win less than 24 hours after losing to No. 6 Miami on the opening night of the Diamond Head Classic. Hawai’i, which improved to 8-3, will face Princeton for fifth place in the tournament on Monday at 9:30 a.m. For the third straight game, Hawai’i will play before a national television audience on ESPNU.

Davidson dropped to 4-6, and will face Akron for seventh place at 7:30 a.m. on Monday.

Drammeh scored 16 of his points during a crucial first half, when Hawai’i established a double-digit lead that held up throughout the second half. He also contributed seven rebounds and four assists.

Johnson shot 8 for 11 from the field, and also grabbed seven rebounds. Leland Green added 11 points and five rebounds, and Jack Purchase scored 10.

Drammeh scored eight points during a 15-2 surge that gave the Warriors a 19-7 lead after the first eight minutes of the game. Hawai’i stayed in front the rest of the way, increasing the lead to as many as 15 (30-15), with 8:55 remaining in the first half.

Davidson responded with a 12-2 surge to cut the Hawai’i lead to 32-27 with 4:11 remaining in the first half. The Warriors eventually took a 40-32 lead at intermission after Green drained a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the first half.

The Wildcats got as close as three points early in the second half, but a 9-0 by Hawai’i gave the Warriors a 57-45 lead with 13:29 remaining. Davidson did not get closer than seven the rest of the way.

Peyton Aldredge led the Wildcats with 26 points and seven rebounds, although he shot just 8 for 23 from the field.

Earlier in the tournament, unranked New Mexico State upset No. 6 Miami in the semifinals. New Mexico State will face USC for the Diamond Head Classic championship on Monday (Christmas Day) at 1:00 p.m.

More details will be reported later.

(Game photos courtesy Matt Osumi)

Saturday’s Results
Semifinals
USC 89, Middle Tennessee 84
New Mexico State 63, Miami 54
Consolation
Princeton 64, Akron 62
Hawai’i 79, Davidson 71

Monday’s Games
Seventh Place – Akron vs. Davidson, 7:30 a.m.
Fifth Place – Princeton vs. Hawai’i, 9:30 a.m.
Championship – USC vs. New Mexico State, 1:00 p.m.
Third Place – Middle Tennessee vs. Miami, 3:30 p.m.

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