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Warriors hand San Francisco its first loss, 85-75

Photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

Drew Buggs scored a career-high 25 points to lead the University of Hawai’i basketball team to a thrilling 85-75 victory over previously undefeated San Francisco on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Eddie Stansberry added 21 points, Samuta Avea scored 14, and Zigmars Raimo had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Rainbow Warriors, who improved to 5-2. The Dons dropped to 7-1.

USF entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in scoring at 88.9 points per game, and the xx points was a season-low.

Buggs shot 11 for 19 from the field, and also had six assists and four rebounds before fouling out late in the game.

Buggs drained back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Warriors an 21-11 lead with 10:46 remaining in the first half. The Dons got as close as three a few minutes later, but Buggs’ driving layup with 40 seconds remaining in the half gave Hawai’i a 39-30 lead at intermission.

Buggs had 12 points and four assists in the first half, and Stansberry added 11 on 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range.

Despite Buggs’ efforts, the Warriors could not pull away in the second half. The Dons chipped away at the lead, and cut it to 51-49 with under 12 minutes remaining.

Then, with Buggs getting a break on the bench, USF went on a 6-0 run to take a 55-51 lead with 10:48 remaining.

When Buggs returned to the court, the Warriors went on a 15-3 surge to regain control with a 66-58 lead. Raimo capped the run by making the first 3-pointer of his career.

USF was led by 7-foot center Jimbo Lull, who finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. He entered the game 2 for 3 from 3-point range in his previous seven games this season, but he went 3 for 4 on 3-pointers against the Warriors.

The Warriors will be back in action on Sunday, when they host Hawai’i Pacific at 5:00 p.m. at the Sheriff Center.

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

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