Basketball: Hawaii pushes past Pacific 72-67

HONOLULU – Refusing to tap out when it appeared it was down and out, the Hawaii basketball team surged to Monday night’s 72-67 victory over Pacific.

A Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 2, 769 saw the Rainbow Warriors rally from a 62-54 hole with 4 :17 left to improve to 2-1 in the season-opening Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.

ADVERTISING


“I never think we’re going to lose, ” said Chris Gerlufsen, UH’s acting head coach. “I always think we have a run in us. Our team feeds off that. Good things happen when you plug away.”

The’Bows’ comeback came from several sources. Eddie Stansberry scored a career-high-tying 26 points, with four coming in a momentum-turning sequence.

Trailing 62-60, Stansberry got the ball behind the 3-point arc. “I came off the screen, and I got a good look, and (Daniss Jenkins ) happened to run into me, ” Stansberry said. “And (the 3-point shot ) went in. I was shocked. I was star-struck for a moment.”

Stansberry was fouled on the play, and his ensuing free throw put the’Bows ahead 64-62 with 1 :36 to play.

“The coaches emphasize if (a defender ) runs into you, just draw the foul, ” Stansberry said. “Either way, they’re going to call it or (the shot’s ) going to go in. Luckily, it did both.”

Twenty-two seconds later, Justin Moore drew a foul on a drive. His two free throws tied it at 64.

On UH’s ensuing possession, point guard Drew Buggs worked his way into an open look. “I thought about shooting, ” Buggs said. “They were going under my ball screens all day. I had a lot of open looks I didn’t make and a lot of looks I didn’t take.”

This time, Buggs resisted pulling the trigger from 15 feet. His jumper had been fickle in the first half, when he missed his first seven shots, including five from 3-point range.

“I wasn’t really shooting well, ” Buggs said. “I was thinking : ‘Let me get to the basket because I can finish pretty well.’ And the help stepped up. Zigmars (Raimo ) is a great cutter, and he cut to the basket. I found him. He had the better shot than me, and I gave it to him.”

Raimo’s layup was only his second field goal, but it gave the’Bows a 66-64 lead with 45.1 seconds to play.

Moore then brought the ball up, but faced a trap at midcourt. Mate Colina, a 7-foot post, made a diving swipe, knocking the dribble away from Moore. The ball rolled toward the Pacific baseline. Buggs, a former football player, raced down, secured the ball and, with his legs across the end line but not touching the ground, called a timeout with 22 seconds to play.

“Mate did a great job, ” Buggs said. “I had no idea where the ball was, and (then ) I saw it rolling down the court. My job was to go get it. I was trying to get it for a layup, but it was too close to the baseline. I grabbed the ball, and called a timeout.”

With 20 seconds left, Stansberry was fouled. He sank both free throws to extend UH’s lead to 68-64.

Bailey then hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 68-67 with eight seconds left. The Tigers called a timeout they did not have, resulting in a technical foul.

“We didn’t communicate, ” said Pacific coach Damon Stoudamire, a former NBA standout. “We got our signals crossed. It’s nothing you can do about that.”

Stansberry hit both technical free throws for a 70-67 cushion. UH kept possession because of the technical, and Buggs was fouled. He drained two free throws to end the scoring.

ADVERTISING


“That’s how we make it, ” Gerlufsen said of the narrow outcome. “Every game feels like that down the stretch. It was a gutsy win.”

The Tigers dropped to 2-2, while South Dakota won the Rainbow Classic at 3-0 after beating Florida A &M 85-82 preceding UH’s game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.