(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team won its third straight contest with an emphatic 74-63 win Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Warriors improved to 16-10 overall and 7-6 in the Big West as the win moved them into a tie for fifth in the league standings with the 49ers.
Zigmars Raimo led four Rainbow Warriors in double-digits by scoring a career-high 17 points in 22 minutes off the bench. Gibson Johnson poured in 13 points, while Brocke Stepteau finished with 10 points. Meanwhile, Drew Buggs also added 10 points, three assists, three steals, and a career-high eight rebounds.
UH got it done on both ends of the court, battling tough down low against one of the most physical teams in the league. The 'Bows held LBSU (13-16, 7-6) to just 30 percent shooting in the first half to stake a nine-point lead and the 49ers finished with 63 points, its lowest output in 13 conference games this season. Gabe Levin led LBSU with 18 points, but was held to just four in the second half.
By game's end, UH out-scored the 49ers 42-26 in the paint and out-rebounded them 37-25. A total of 13 of UH's boards came on the offensive as the 'Bows enjoyed a 20-6 advantage in second-chance points.
UH was down 8-4 in the opening moments of the game but a 9-0 run gave them the lead five minutes and they would keep a stranglehold of it for the rest of the game. UH shot 53 percent in the first half to take a 35-24 lead into the locker room.
The 49ers closed within four points, 46-42, with 12:26 remaining. But Buggs got a key steal and layup to spur a 15-4 run over the next five minutes. A Raimo layup capped the run as UH led by 15 points with eight minutes left and never looked back.
The Rainbow Warriors will play their final home game on Saturday, Feb. 24 when they host UC Irvine at 7:00 p.m. Zach Buscher, Gibson Johnson, and Mike Thomas will be honored following the game as part of Senior Night festivities and all fans are encouraged to wear white as part of a "Whiteout."