Warrior Insider

The Inside Source for Hawaii Men's Basketball

Warriors hold off Mississippi Valley, 72-54, in season opener

Photo courtesy Chris Kadooka

The University of Hawai’i basketball team opened its 2022-23 season with a closer-than-it-looked 72-54 victory over Mississippi Valley State.

A crowd of 3,445 at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center watched the Rainbow Warriors rally from a deficit in the second half. It was also the opening night of the Outrigger Rainbow Classic.

Noel Coleman scored 22 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range, to lead the Warriors. Samuta Avea added 20 points, and Bernardo da Silva posted a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

A 3-pointer by Avea gave the Warriors a 26-16 lead with 4:37 remaining in the first half, but the Delta Devils rallied with a 10-2 surge. The Warriors took a 30-28 lead at intermission.

Hawai’i shot 4 for 20 from 3-point range in the first half, and went 0 for 3 from the free throw line. The Warriors finished the game 9 for 32 from 3-point range and 11 for 15 on free throws.

The Delta Devils maintained the momentum early in the second half, taking a 39-37 lead ln a layup by Michael Barber with 15:11 remaining.

The Warriors regained the lead at 42-39 after Coleman drained a 3-pointer with 13:07 remaining. That ignited an 11-2 Hawai’i run that stretched the lead to 53-41. The Warriors then stretched the lead throughout the final eight minutes.

In Friday’s first game of the tournament, Yale defeated Eastern Washington, 74-60. The tournament will take Saturday off, then continue on Sunday. Yale will face Mississippi Valley State at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, followed by Hawai’i vs. Eastern Washington at 5:00 pm.

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

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