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Warriors rally for 76-69 road win at UC Davis

An epic comeback by the University of Hawai’i basketball team resulted in a 76-69 road victory over UC Davis on Thursday at The Pavilion in Davis, Calif.

The Rainbow Warriors rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to improve to 17-12 overall and end a three-game losing streak. They also improved to 8-7 in the Big West Conference, and are now alone in fourth place.

The Warriors have a regular-season finale at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, but Hawai’i is already locked in as the No. 4 seed for the Big West Conference Tournament, March 14-16 at Anaheim, Calif.

The Aggies dropped to 11-18 overall and 7-8 in the Big West with their second loss to Hawai’i this season.

In customary fashion for this team, the Warriors relied on a team effort to come back from 16 points down in the first half, and 15 points down early in the second half.

Brocke Stepteau scored 17 points and also had five assists and four rebounds to lead the Warriors. Eddie Stansberry added 12 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, Drew Buggs scored 11, and Leland Green scored 10 for Hawai’i. Freshman reserve center Dawson Carper contributed eight points and seven rebounds.

Stepteau, Green and Carper came off the bench, leading the Warriors to a 38-6 advantage in bench points. What’s more, Stepteau (12), Green (10) and Carper (5) combined for 27 points in the crucial second half.

It was a tale of two halves, as the Warriors trailed 36-25 after the first half, then out-scored the Aggies 51-33 in the second half.

Hawai’i had a brief 5-4 lead early in the game, but then UCD went on a 13-2 surge to build a 22-9 lead with 10:09 remaining in the first half.

The Aggies led by as many as 16 in the first half, and eventually took a 36-25 lead into halftime. UCD shot 53.8 percent (14 for 26) from the field in the first half, while Hawai’i shot 35.7 percent (10 for 28).

The Aggies opened the second half by scoring the first four points to increase their lead by 40-25.

Then the Warriors came alive. A stunning 22-4 surge over a six-minute span by the Warriors put Hawai’i ahead 47-44 with 12:40 remaining. The Warriors drained four 3-pointers during the surge, including two by Stansberry.

UCD regained a momentary 52-51 lead, but Hawai’i countered with an 8-0 run to take a 59-52 advantage with 6:54 remaining.

The Warriors stayed in front the rest of the way, although the Aggies kept it close in the final moments.

Hawai’i out-rebounded the Aggies, 35-27, and shot 18 for 20 (.900) from the free throw line. UCD finished with a .481 field goal percentage, including just .231 (3 for 13) from 3-point range. The Warriors finished with a .446 field goal percentage, including .333 (8 for 24) from 3-point range.

TJ Shorts II led UCD with 26 points, including 11 for 12 shooting on free throws.

The Warriors will travel to Fullerton on Friday. Saturday’s game at Cal State Fullerton is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. PT (5:00 p.m. Hawai’i time) and will be available through streaming live video at www.espn3.com.

CLICK HERE to view boxscore

Thursday’s Results
UC Irvine 110, at Cal Poly 72
UC Santa Barbara 76, CSUN 74
Hawai’i 76, at UC Davis 69

Saturday’s Games
UC Riverside at UC Davis
UC Santa Barbara at Cal Poly
Hawai’i at Cal State Fullerton
CSUN at UC Irvine

5 Comments

  1. Now we’re talking. Good to get the momentum back on our side but have to keep it going against CS Fullerton. If UH wins on Saturday, I like their chances for a good run in Big West Tournament.

  2. I must add that Dawson is turning into a very valuable weapon. I’m surprised. All the talk before was about Colina but Dawson is taking over as the big man for the future.

  3. Great comeback!! I almost turned it off lol

    Glad I didn’t! That was a gutsy performance!

    Great momentum going into Fullerton.

    Let’s go Bows!!

  4. Indeed, quite the gusty road performance for the boys!! Proud of the way that kept it together and came back in a team effort! Ref’s kept trying to bail out UCD but these Bows were determined and tenacious! I’m liking the idea of the Bows possibly playing either LB St. or CSUN in the first round of the BWT. Even though the game tomorrow will not directly affect them, I’m hoping they can stay hot and keep the momentum going all the way into the tournament. Let’s GO BOWS!

  5. Here’s one of the storylines… 18 for 20 freethrow shooting. That’s 90%!!! If Hawaii shoots 50% (which has periodically been the case), Hawaii loses the game. Raimo was 4 for 4 (100%)!!! What???

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