(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team dropped its fourth straight game with a 64-60 loss Wednesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Warriors fell to 13-9 overall and 4-5 in the Big West.
For the second straight game, the 'Bows fell victim to its opponent's three-point shooting. The Highlanders (6-17, 1-8) drilled 10 three-pointers, including a trio of timely three-pointers in the waning minutes to snap a 10-game losing streak and pick up their first Big West win of the year.
UH lost despite shooting 19-of-22 from the free throw line and out-rebounding the Highlanders, 40-26. The 'Bows, however, could never get in sync all night offensively, shooting a season-low 33 percent from the floor and committing 17 turnovers.
Mike Thomas led UH with 18 points, while coming off the bench for the first time this year. Brocke Stepteau scored 11 points and Jack Purchase chipped in a game-high 10 rebounds. Chance Murray led UC Riverside with 16 points.
UH got off to a sluggish start, missing 10 of its first 12 attempts. UCR meanwhile drained six three-pointers in the first half. But the 'Bows were aggressive inside (22-9 rebounding advantage) and were able to head into the locker room tied up, 30-30.
After trailing most of the first half, UH led for most of the second half. The Rainbow Warriors led by as many as seven with 10 minutes left and led, 53-50 with five minutes remaining. But the Highlanders got five straight points from Murray, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 2:25 left to put them up 55-53. Additional three-pointers by Menno Dijkstra and DJ Sylvester in the final minute closed the door on UH's comeback hopes.
The Highlanders won for the third straight year in Honolulu. In all, the visitor has won the last five games in the series.
The Rainbow Warriors return to the court on Saturday, Feb. 10 when they host CSUN. Tipoff is 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.