POSTED: 8:14 p.m. HST, Jan 28, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 8:46 p.m. HST, Jan 28, 2012
A closely contested game went in Hawaii's favor late in a 76-70 defeat of Idaho at the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow, Idaho, today.
At the midpoint of the Western Athletic Conference season, UH (12-9 overall) moved into a third-place tie at 4-3 with Utah State and the UI Vandals (11-10).
The Rainbow Warriors split their second straight WAC road trip, this time by sizzling at 56.3 percent shooting from the field. The 'Bows came up with several big stops in the final minute.
Junior center Vander Joaquim had 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting with nine rebounds. Senior guard Zane Johnson added 16 points, including four straight clinching free throws in the final 13.4 seconds. And junior swingman Hauns Brereton added 15 points, including 3-for-6 shooting on 3-pointers.
Junior forward Joston Thomas (16 points and nine boards) converted a three-point play with 1:37 left to supply some breathing room with a 70-65 lead.
Once UI went to fouling, point guard Miah Ostrowski hit two free throws with a little over 30 seconds left to make it 72-67.
Joaquim and Ostrowski missed on ensuing trips to the line, but UH got the ball to its top foul shooter, Johnson, and he iced the game with his opportunities.
Although UI small forward Djim Bandoumel went off for 24 points on 10-for-13 shooting, top scorer Deremy Geiger was held to four points with an uncommon 0-for-6 night from long range.
Idaho, the top 3-point shooting team in the WAC, was held to 5-for-16 shooting from deep (31.3 percent).
UH trailed 36-35 at halftime, then captured the lead in the second half on a Brereton putback for a 51-49 lead with 14 minutes left.
Ostrowski gave UH the lead again with a rare 3-pointer to make it 54-51.
Kyle Barone got the hosts back the lead briefly, but Johnson hit a 3 for a 62-60 lead with about 8 minutes left.
With two 3s, Johnson claimed sole possession of fourth place on the UH career 3s list (160), passing Mike McIntyre.
Joaquim had 12 points at halftime on 6-for-6 shooting.
UH snapped a four-game losing streak to the Vandals, and won for the third time in 10 meetings in Moscow. The 'Bows do not play again until next Saturday at San Jose State.