POSTED: 09:15 p.m. HST, Nov 20, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 09:32 p.m. HST, Nov 20, 2012
The University of Hawaii basketball team held off a furious second-half rally by North Dakota to pull out a 71-66 win tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Brandon Spearman scored a game-high 19 points, the last two coming on free throws with 5.3 seconds left to seal the win for the Rainbow Warriors (4-1).
UH led by as many as 23 in the first half but North Dakota rallied to close to within three with less than 3 minutes left in the game.
But the Rainbows managed to hang on in the final minute.
UH scored the game's first seven points and went on a 20-1 run while holding North Dakota without a field goal for more than 8 minutes.
Isaac Fotu scored six points in the run and Spearman's driving layup gave UH a 29-7 lead with 7 minutes left in the first half.
UH led by as many as 23 when Christian Standhardinger hit a 3-pointer at the 6 minute mark and took a 42-27 lead into halftime.
North Dakota's Josh Schuler hit a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer and Aaron Anderson drained another to open the second half to cut UH's lead to 12 at 42-30.
UND closed to 10 at 49-39 on consecutive layups by Mitch Wilmer before Spearman hit his second 3-pointer of the game.
UH committed six turnovers over the first 10:21 of the second half, four coming on offensive fouls.
UND continued to stick around and got back to within single digits when Jamal Webb and Anderson knocked down consecutive 3 pointers to chop the UH lead to 58-50 with 8:20 left.
That sparked a 10-1 run for UND and UH led 59-54 when Anderson made two free throws with 6:48 left.
Anderson's fourth 3-pointer of the second half brought UND to with three with 2:56 remaining and had a shot to tie it up go off the rim. Fotu grabbed the rebound and Hauns Brereton, whowas 1-for-7 from the field to that point, nailed a 3-pointer from the wing to extend the UH lead to 69-63 at the 2:10 mark.
Schuler hit a tough jumper while being fouled and his free throw cut UH's lead to 69-66 with 1:06 left.
After Tavita missed a 3-pointer, UND secured the rebound and called timeout with 22.2 seconds left. But Webb stepped on the baseline on his drive to give UH possession with 15.5 seconds on the clock.
UH was called for a lane violation on Spearman's free throw and Anderson's 3-point attempt was short. Spearman then hit both free throws to seal the outcome.