UH men's basketball upsets Colorado in Diamond Head Classic
The University of Hawaii men's basketball team rallied late in regulation and finished off Colorado in overtime for a thrilling 70-62 win in the consolation bracket of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
HONOULU – The University of Hawaii men's basketball team rallied late in regulation and finished off Colorado in overtime for a thrilling 70-62 win in the consolation bracket of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Warriors (7-5) erased a six-point deficit with a little more three minutes left in regulation then out-scored the Buffaloes (8-3) 14-6 in the extra period to pick up its second win over a Pac-12 team this year. UH also defeated Utah on Thanksgiving evening in the Wooden Legacy in Southern California.
The win comes just a day after a deflating opening round loss to UNLV. UH bounced back big-time by out-rebounding Colorado 48-35, and holding the Buffaloes to just 34 percent shooting for the game. The Rainbow Warriors will now face either Charlotte or Rhode Island in the fifth-place game of the tournament on Christmas morning at 10 a.m.
Eddie Stansberry led four Rainbow Warriors in double-figures with 18 points. Zigmars Raimo posted his first career double-double and tied a tournament record for rebounds after finishing with 14 points and 17 boards. Meanwhile, seniors Jack Purchase (14 points) and Brocke Stepteau (13) provided clutch shooting down the stretch to seal the win. Stepteau scored all but two of this points in the second half and overtime.
McKinley Wright scored a game-high 20 points and Lucas Siewert added 19 points to lead Colorado.
The first half was a defensive grind as neither team could get in sync. UH shot 31 percent in the first 20 minutes, while Colorado shot just 28 percent as the teams were deadlocked 24-24 going into the locker room.
UH went on a 10-2 run after halftime to build and eight point lead, but the Buffaloes clawed back and Siewert's three-point play put them up 52-46 at the four-minute mark. UH rallied behind Purchase and Stepteau who combined for seven of the team's final 10 points, including a driving layup by Stepteau that put UH up 56-54 with 29 seconds left. A Wright bucket with 17 seconds tied the game and after UH failed to convert on the final possession of regulation, the UH went into overtime for the first time this season.
The teams exchanged three-point plays to start overtime, but after that it was all UH. The 'Bows scored eight of the game's next nine points, highlighted by a pair of three-pointers form Drew Buggs and Purchase, to build an insurmountable 67-60 lead .