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Warriors rally for thrilling road win at UC Davis, 67-65

Samuta Avea drained a 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds remaining to give the University of Hawai’i basketball team an improbable 67-65 road win at UC Davis on Thursday.

Avea’s game-winner capped a furious rally by the Rainbow Warriors, who trailed by 13 points with less than five minutes remaining.

Hawai’i improved to 17-12 overall and is tied for fourth place in the Big West Conference at 8-7 with one game remaining. The Aggies dropped to 14-17 and 8-7. The Warriors beat the Aggies twice this season, and owns the head-to-head tiebreaker for seeding purposes for the Big West Conference Championship Tournament.

Avea’s 3-pointer from the corner gave Hawai’i a 66-65 lead, then Eddie Stansberry drew an offensive foul on UCD’s inbounds pass to give the Warriors the possession. Justin Hemsley then made one of two free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining for the final score.

Avea led the Warriors with 18 points, including four 3-pointers in the second half. Zigmars Raimo added 14 points and seven rebounds, Justin Hemsley scored 11, and Drew Buggs contributed seven points and seven rebounds for Hawai’i.

The first half was close, with the lead changing four times. Hawai’i led by as many as five points, including 30-25 after Webster drained two free throws with 51 seconds remaining in the half.

However, the Aggies closed the half with a flurry. Joe Mooney made a 3-pointer from the corner to get UCD within two, 30-28, with 29 seconds remaining. On Hawai’i’s ensuing possession, Samuta Avea missed a 3-pointer. UCD guard Ezra Manjon grabbed the rebound, turned, took one dribble and launched a shot from 70 feet away that went in for a 3-pointer.

It gave the Aggies a 31-30 lead at intermission. UCD then opened the second half with a 7-0 run to increase its lead to 38-30 with 17:22 remaining.

UCD led by as many as 13 points late in the second half, but the Warriors went on a 12-0 run to cut it to 62-61 with 2:11 remaining. Avea drained three 3-pointers during the surge, and Hemsley scored on a breakaway dunk after a steal.

UCD had a 65-63 lead when Stefan Gonzalez missed a 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining, giving Hawai’i the next possession to set up Avea’s winning shot.

Ezra Manjon led the Aggies with 18 points.

Hawai’i will remain on the road and will play at CSUN on Saturday in the regular-season finale.

1 Comment

  1. With all those improbable last second wins we’ve had so far… this has to be the most eye-popping… inexplicable! Great job Warriors!!! Go get the road sweep! CAN!

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