Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hawaii wins 68-67

Way back when, Sunday was supposed to be a day or rest. That's a typically easy task in Hawaii -- heck, that's why people head there. But two groups of young men met on a shiny indoor court Sunday evening, exerting themselves in order to come out the victor. The Rainbow Warriors desperately needed to stop their slide in the WAC. The Spartans were primed to move ahead to a 3-2 league record.

A last-second shot attempt determined the final outcome as UH backcourter Hiram Thompson was fouled on his dribble-drive to the basket with but 2.1 seconds remaining. He went to the line with his team down by one, 67-66. Thompson buried the first to tie the game. His second attempt was also accurate and proved to be the gamewinner as Hawaii came out on top 68-67.

Here's what led up to Thompson heroics:

A Brandon Adams basket at the 4:05 mark put UH up 63-58.

Adrian Oliver countered with a basket to cut the deficit to three.

After a Rainbow Warrior miss, Chris Oakes rebounded the ball and tossed a long outlet pass to Justin Graham. San Jose State's junior guard was intentionally fouled by Jeremy Lay. Graham nailed both his free throws to reduce the point differential to 63-62 and the Spartans also retained possession of the ball.

Robert Owens then nailed a trey to put SJSU ahead at 65-63.

Lay came down and put down his own three-pointer to boost Hawaii ahead by one, 66-65.

At the 1:14 mark, Chris Oakes traveled making a move to the basket.

With regaining possession, Lay came down and went long range again, missing his trey attempt, but Roderick Flemings rebounded with 45 seconds left.

But Graham nabbed a steal and fed the ball to Oakes who dunked to make it 67-66 San Jose State with 19 seconds on the clock.

Graham again stole the ball when Hawaii came down the court and he passed to Adrian Oliver, who was fouled.

With a one-and-one at the line, Oliver missed and UH rebounded.

That's when Thompson's heroics came into play and proved to be the difference.

Oliver earned a double-double of 20/10 as did Oakes with 14/11. Graham was particularly effective going to the hoop and led the Spartans with 21 points.

UH shot just 41% for the game after a quick start but did succeed on nine of 24 three-point attempts. SJSU was 4-20 from long distance. Both teams made 11 free throws -- in 13 attempts for Hawaii and 20 for San Jose State.

At the half, it was 42-39 in Hawaii's favor in a back and forth contest. Graham scored 13 points and Oliver contributed 11 in the initial 20 minutes. UH was an unconscious 55% on field goal attempts including 6-13 on three-pointers at that point. SJSU wasn't far behind at 52%.

C.J. Webster again missed the game due to an eye injury.

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