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Warriors hold off Pepperdine, 76-70, in Classic opener

Noel Coleman scored 22 points and Kamaka Hepa added 19¬†points tonight to help Hawai’i hold off Pepperdine, 76-70, in the opening round of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

Photo courtesy Matt Osumi

An energetic and vocal crowd of 3,713 in SimpliFi Arena at the Stan Sheriff Center plus a national TV audience on ESPN2 watched JoVon McClanahan add a career-high 17 points and Samuta Avea contribute 11 points as the Warriors improved to 7-3 and advanced to Friday’s 7 p.m. semifinal against Washington State (5-6). Maxwell Lewis scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Waves, who fell to 6-4.

UH led 38-24 at halftime and was ahead 60-46 after Hepa’s putback with 7:25 remaining, but Houston Mallette answered with a three-point play to start Pepperdine on a 10-0 run capped by Malik Moore’s two free throws to close it to 60-56 with 4:36 left. The Warriors then stretched the lead to 71-60 after McClanahan’s two free throws with 1:13 remaining, but the Waves cut it to 74-70 after Jevon Porter’s 3-pointer with 15.1 ticks on the clock.

But McClanahan sank both free throws a half second later and Pepperdine could not score on its next possession.

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

Thursday’s Results
SMU 85, Iona 81
Utah State 84, Seattle 56
Washington State 66, George Washington 64
Hawai’i 76, Pepperdine 70

Friday’s Games
11:30 a.m. – Iona vs. Seattle
2:00 p.m. – SMU vs. Utah State
5:00 p.m. – George Washington vs. Pepperdine
7:00 p.m. – Hawai’i vs. Washington State

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