(Hawaii Athletics) - For the second straight game the University of Hawaii men's basketball team won in decisive fashion following a 74-57 victory over Long Beach State Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.  With the win the Rainbow Warriors improved to 13-7 overall and moved into a tie for third in the Big West standings with a 4-2 mark.
UH stepped up its defense and got a big boost from its reserves to pick up its sixth win in its last seven home games. The UH bench out-scored LBSU, 35-10, led by senior Brocke Stepteau who finished with a team-high 16 points, five assists, and zero turnovers.
Meanwhile the 'Bows held the 49ers (8-14, 2-4 BWC) to their second-lowest output this year and nearly 20 points below their season average. Deishaun Booker, who entered the game averaging a league-high 27.6 ppg, finished with just 14 points on 3-of-11 shooting. As a team, LBSU was held to just 39 percent shooting.
UH won despite getting off off to a sluggish start. The 'Bows missed seven of their first eight shots and fell behind 11-2 in the first five minutes. But the UH bench revived the team by scoring the UH's next 10 points – including consecutive three-pointers by Samuta Avea.
Stepteau's three-point play at the 8:49 mark of the first half gave UH its first lead of the game, a lead they wouldn't relinquish. It was part of a 14-2 run that powered the 'Bows to a 36-28 lead at the break.  The 49ers got within 41-40 five minutes after intermission but would get no closer as a 15-3 UH run midway through the second half shut the door.
Eddie Stansberry contributed 14 points, while Zigmars Raimo added 11 points and eight rebounds. The 'Bows struggled from long-range (7-of-28), but committed just nine turnovers and out-rebounded the 49ers, 39-35.
The Rainbow Warriors wrap up its four-game homestand with a big matchup versus UC Santa Barbara (15-5, 4-2 BWC) on Saturday, Feb. 2. The game is part of a doubleheader with the women with tipoff against the Gauchos at approximately 8:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.