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Rainbow Warriors start fast, hold off Montana

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COMHawaii Warriors forward Christian Standhardinger (34) drives past Montana Grizzlies forward Chris Kemp (24) during the first half of a men's college basketball game between the Montana Grizzlies and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Friday, November 29, 2013 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
    Hawaii Warriors forward Christian Standhardinger (34) drives past Montana Grizzlies forward Chris Kemp (24) during the first half of a men's college basketball game between the Montana Grizzlies and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Friday, November 29, 2013 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.

In its last homestand of the month, Hawaii made a stand. 

And a statement.

Led by senior forward Christian Standhardinger’s season-high 26 points and a defense that pushed back when pushed, the Rainbow Warriors basketball team defeated Montana 72-61 on Friday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Sophomore guard Isaac Fotu and senior guard Brandon Spearman each added 13 points, and Hawaii (5-2) survived a poor night from the free-throw line (13-for-28) with its third consecutive victory. Montana (1-4), on the road for four of its first five games, dropped its third straight.

Grizzlies senior guard Kareem Jamar, who came in averaging 20.5 points, finished with a team-high 16, all in the second half. Junior guard Keron DeShields added 11.

The Rainbow Warriors held Jamar scoreless for the first half on 0-for-4 shooting. He quickly scored five points in the first minute after intermission and, when DeShields hit a 3-pointer, the Grizzlies turned what had been a 16-point first-half deficit into a 33-33 tie.

Hawaii answered with a 3-0 spurt to take the lead for good. Montana closed to 

36-35 on two free throws by Mike Weisner with 16:31 left but got not closer as the Rainbow Warriors used a 9-0 run to pull away.

The Rainbow Warriors led the entire first half with Stanhardinger leading the way with 11 points over the first 20 minutes.

His jumper with 9:55 to go gave Hawaii its largest lead at 24-8.

A dunk by Aaron Valdes at the 5:45 mark equaled UH’s largest margin (28-12). Montana whittled it to 31-25 at halftime.

UH officials estimated attendance at about 5,500.

The Rainbow Warriors travel to Northern Arizona for a Dec. 7 contest, then play Chaminade on Dec. 14 at Kauai High. Hawaii is next at home for the Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 22-25.

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