College basketball: Princeton schools Hawaii with second-half surge

Associated Press Hawaii’s Mike Thomas scored 22 points Monday, but 19 of them came in the first half as the Rainbow Warriors fell 77-63 to Princeton

On Christmas morning, Hawaii was taken to school for 20 minutes.

Princeton of the Ivy League outclassed the Rainbow Warriors in the second half of the fifth-place matchup in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic as the Tigers prevailed 77-63 on Monday at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

Senior co-captain Mike Thomas responded from a quiet first two games of the tournament to score 19 of his 22 points in the first half. It allowed his team to bring a 31-all tie into halftime.

But he and UH (8-4) went quiet in the second half, particularly at the free-throw line, where UH was 9-for-20 for the game, including 7-for-17 after intermission. Princeton (7-7) continued to execute, shooting 54.6 percent from the field (9-for-22 on 3-pointers, 40.9 percent) and converting 16 of its 21 foul shots.

Brocke Stepteau (15 points) scored seven straight to bring UH within 67-59 with 2:09 left. That would be the closest late as the Tigers knocked down their free throws.

Guards Devin Cannady and Sheriff Drammeh were issued offsetting technical fouls late.

Cannady led Princeton with 28 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field and 12-for-16 at the line. He needs just three points to reach 1,000 for his career.

Thomas, who scored one point across an opening-round loss to No. 6 Miami and a consolation semifinal win over Davidson, shot 10-for-14 from the field.

UH had a four-game winning streak on Christmas snapped as the Tigers defeated the Rainbows for the second straight year; they got the better of the ‘Bows in the Pearl Harbor Invitational last December.

PRINCETON (7-7)

Much 2-5 0-0 5, Schwieger 3-6 0-0 7, Bell 4-5 2-3 11, Stephens 3-10 0-0 6, Cannady 7-13 12-16 28, Desrosiers 4-5 0-0 10, Barnes 0-0 0-0 0, Reynoso-Avila 0-0 0-0 0, Brennan 2-2 0-0 5, LeBlanc 0-0 0-0 0, Bramlage 0-0 0-0 0, Aririguzoh 0-0 0-0 0, Young 1-2 2-2 5, Berbari 0-0 0-0 0, Bagin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-48 16-21 77.

HAWAII (8-4)

Johnson 4-7 1-5 9, M.Thomas 10-14 2-7 22, Drammeh 3-11 2-2 9, Buggs 3-6 0-1 6, Green 0-6 0-0 0, Purchase 0-3 0-0 0, Flaisher 1-1 0-0 2, Stepteau 5-8 4-5 15, Avea 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-56 9-20 63.

Halftime—31-31. 3-Point Goals—Princeton 9-22 (Desrosiers 2-3, Cannady 2-7, Brennan 1-1, Bell 1-1, Young 1-2, Schwieger 1-3, Much 1-3, Stephens 0-2), Hawaii 2-11 (Stepteau 1-2, Drammeh 1-4, Purchase 0-2, Green 0-3). Fouled Out—Bell. Rebounds—Princeton 28 (Cannady 8), Hawaii 28 (Purchase, M.Thomas 7). Assists—Princeton 11 (Desrosiers, Cannady 3), Hawaii 8 (Buggs 4). Total Fouls—Princeton 23, Hawaii 18. Technicals—Cannady, Drammeh. A—6,698 (10,300).