The Hawaii basketball team could not go the distance with Missouri Saturday, falling 92-80 to the Tigers at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
UH led by a point at halftime but fell behind quickly in the second half to the Southeastern Conference team, which won its sixth straight in the building down the highway from its campus.
The Rainbow Warriors gave up 90-plus points for the second straight game in falling to 2-2 on the season. Senior forward Christian Standhardinger led the ‘Bows with 22 points, but he sat out crucial minutes late after picking up his fourth foul. Junior guard Garrett Nevels added 17.
The game was billed as a neutral contest. But the 19,000-seat Sprint Center was filled with Tigers fans coming a few hours’ drive away from the Tigers’ homecourt in Columbus.
The return of senior guard Brandon Spearman (11 points, 4-for-13 shooting) from a right ankle injury could not send the ‘Bows to a victory.
UH was outrebounded 44-30 against a bigger guard lineup and shot 42 percent to MU’s 58 percent. The Tigers were led by guard Jabari Brown, who scored 23 on 8-for-13 shooting.
Point guard Keith Shamburger (12 points, 3-for-12 shooting) completed a three-point play to make it 80-73 MU with 2:15 to play, but the Tigers got an open dunk at the other end and were not seriously threatened from there.
UH went into halftime up one despite allowing 58.1 percent shooting by MU in the first period — UH stayed in it behind a 16-for-18 effort at the free-throw line. Standhardinger scored 12 in the period.
MU (3-0) opened the second half with an 11-2 run to go up by eight points.
The ‘Bows came back again, getting within 59-57 on a Spearman layup with 13 minutes remaining.
The Tigers went back up by eight. Standhardinger kept the ‘Bows around with a 9-for-11 shooting start, but he picked up his fourth foul with eight minutes left and went to the bench.
In the first half, UH took a 19-18 lead on Nevels’ second 3-pointer of the game. He finished with three long balls and shot 7-for-14 shooting overall.
Missouri kept pouring it on, making 13 of its first 16 shots, and the Tigers took a 31-25 lead.
MU went up double-digits for the first time at 40-30, but the ‘Bows came back with 10 straight points capped with a Spearman 3-pointer to knot it at 40.
UH kept the run going at 16-2 to take a 46-42 lead with 36 seconds left in the half.
But a UH long inbounds pass with under four seconds left in the period backfired when MU stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a layup at the halftime buzzer, drawing within 46-45 at the break.