HONOLULU – UC Santa Barbara used a strong second-half effort to deal the University of Hawaii men's basketball team a 75-54 loss Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.  The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 13-8 overall and into a tie for fourth in the Big West with a 4-3 mark.
After a tight first half, the Gauchos (16-5, 5-2 BWC) shot a scorching 65 percent in the second half and held the 'Bows to just 37 percent to hand UH its most lopsided home loss ever to a Big West opponent.
Amadou Sow had 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Max Heidegger also poured in 20 points for the Gauchos who rebounded from a tough overtime home loss to UC Irvine on Thursday. UH was led by Samuta Avea who had another strong game off the bench. The sophomore tied his career high with 13 points while also adding six rebounds. Zigmars Raimo was the only other Rainbow Warrior in double-digits with 10 points.
The previous two meetings between the teams were determined by a total of three points and it looked like it would be another close one.  The first half included five ties and nine lead changes. UH held UCSB to just 32 percent shooting, but the Gauchos got to the free throw line 15 times to stake a 30-26 lead at the break.
It was a 34-30 game early in the second half when UCSB made its decisive move. That's when the Gauchos went on a 20-3 run, including a string of 16 unanswered points. Drew Buggs ended a five-minute scoring drought for UH with a driving layup with 8:35 left in the game, but by then UH had already found themselves down by 21 points.
UCSB out-rebounded UH, 35-24, while the 'Bows struggled from long range for the second consecutive game, finishing just 5-of-22 from beyond the arc.
The Rainbow Warriors now head to Southern California for a pair of road games, beginning with a contest at Long Beach State on Thursday, February 7. Tipoff is 7:00 p.m. PT/5:00 p.m. HT.