HONOULU – In a back-and-forth battle, the University of Hawaii men's basketball team pulled away late for a 68-60 Christmas Day victory over Rhode Island in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center.
 
By ultimately prevailing in a game that featured 17 lead changes, UH finished 2-1 and claimed fifth-place in the prestigious holiday tournament. It was the second straight feel-good win for Rainbow Warriors (8-5), who have now won four of their last five games.
 
All-Tournament selection Zigmars Raimo led four 'Bows in double-figures with a career-high 19 points, while Drew Buggs added 12 points and eight rebounds. Brocke Stepteau (11 points) and Eddie Stansberry (11 points) provided clutch play down the stretch. Stepteau's driving layup gave UH a four-point cushion with less than a minute left and Stansberry scored all 11 of his points in the final 10 minutes of the game to help seal the win.  
 
In a preview of what was to come, the first 20 minutes was a see-saw affair. The Rams (6-5) enjoyed a six-point lead, but UH ended the half with a 12-4 run, capped by a Jack Purchase three-pointer at the buzzer, to give the 'Bows a 34-32 lead at intermission.
 
The teams continued to go blow-for-blow throughout the second half, until a two-minute stretch late in the game when the 'Bows began to separate. UH trailed 51-49 with 6:47 left,  however, a three-pointer by Stansberry and a three-point play by Purchase sparked a decisive run that 10-2 run that put UH up for good.

TCU captured the tournament with an 83-69 win over Indiana State. It was the fourth time in 10 years a Big 12 squad has captured the Diamond Head Classic.
 
The Rainbow Warriors will return to the Stan Sheriff Center court on Saturday, Dec. 29 when it hosts Alabama A&M. Tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 25 Results
7th-Place Game: Colorado 68, Charlotte 53
5th-Place Game: Hawai'i 60, Rhode Island 60
3rd-Place Game: Bucknell 97, UNLV 72
Championship: TCU 83, Indiana State 69

All-Tournament Team
Zigmars Raimo, Hawaii
Nate Sestina, Bucknell
Jordan Barnes, Indiana State
Jaylen Fisher, TCU
Most Outstanding Player: Alex Robinson, TCU