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Warriors rally past UC Riverside, 56-55

Photo courtesy Shane Rodrigues

Dawson Carper’s putback with 31.1 seconds proved to be the winning basket in the University of Hawai’i basketball team’s 56-55 road win at UC Riverside on Thursday at the SRC Arena in Riverside, Calif.

It capped a wild game of surges, and allowed Hawai’i to take the victory after allowing the Highlanders to rally from a 17-point deficit in the second half.

The Rainbow Warriors improved to 15-10 overall and 6-5 in the Big West Conference while snapping a four-game losing streak. The Highlanders dropped to 14-14 and 4-8 with their fifth consecutive loss.

Freshman guard Justin Webster led the Warriors with a career-high 18 points – all in the first half. Eddie Stansberry added 12 points, Samuta Avea had nine points and eight rebounds, and Carper finished with eight points and six rebounds.

The Warriors trailed 49-43 with less than seven minutes remaining, but came through with the final rally. Prior to the winning shot, Drew Buggs grabbed a rebound off a UCR miss, then raced upcourt. He passed it to Zigmars Raimo, who was streaking toward the basket, but missed a layup. Carper was trailing Raimo and put the offensive rebound back in.

UCR missed two tough shots on its final possession.

UCR raced to a 10-2 lead to open the game, but the Warriors responded with a 13-0 run to take a 15-10 lead with 10:38 remaining in the first half. Webster came off the bench to score seven points during the surge.

Moments later, Hawai’i went on a 21-4 run to increase its lead to 32-16. Webster capped the run with 3-pointers on back-to-back posessions.

The Warriors eventually took a 37-23 lead at intermission, with Webster already scoring a career-high 18 points, including 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point range.

The Highlanders got back in it with a 13-0 surge early in the second half to cut the Hawai’i lead to 40-36 with 14:04 remaining.

UCR then surged ahead of the Warriors with an 11-0 run that put the Highlanders in front, 47-42 with 8:28 remaining.

The game stayed close the rest of the way, with Hawai’i getting within one point several times in the closing minutes.

Big West Conference
Thursday’s Results
UC Davis 77, at Cal Poly 62
UC Santa Barbara 75, Cal State Fullerton 66
Hawai’i 56, at UC Riverside 55

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