(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team couldn't overcome a rough first half in 70-59 loss to UC Davis Thursday night at the Pavilion. The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 16-12 overall and 7-8 in the Big West with its second straight loss.
UH shot 32 percent and had 12 turnovers en route to just 21 first-half points– a season low – to fall behind by 15 points at the break. The Bows played decidedly better in the second half and pulled within eight minutes with five minutes, but ultimately could not get over the hump.
The loss coupled with Long Beach State's win at UC Santa Barbara, dropped UH to sixth in the Big West standings. UC Davis (20-9, 11-4 BW), meanwhile, remains in the running for the Big West crown following their fourth straight win.
Mike Thomas, who sat out much of the first half with foul trouble, scored 11 of his 13 points after the break to lead the 'Bows. Gibson Johnson finished with 12 points, while Jack Purchase had 11.
T.J. Shorts led four Aggies in double-digits with 21 points. Shorts, who also added four assists and four steals, scored 10 of UC Davis' final 12 points to stave off UH's rally. Siler Schneider added 16 points, while Joe Mooney finished with 14 and and AJ John had 11.
UH forced 19 UC Davis turnovers, went 14-of-16 from the line, and shot 46 percent in the second half. But the Aggies turned back any UH comeback hopes with 10-of-20 shooting from three, including a combined seven three-pointers from Mooney and John. For the game, the Aggies shot 53 percent from the floor.
UH will now conclude the regular-season with a contest at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, March 3. The 'Bows can finish in either a tie for fifth or in sixth place in the final standings. Tipoff for the game is 3:00 p.m. PT/1:00 p.m. HT.