POSTED: 11:37 p.m. HST, Dec 23, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 11:49 p.m. HST, Dec 23, 2011
Hawaii got its biggest men’s basketball win in recent history Friday, as the Rainbow Warriors prevailed over No. 14 Xavier 84-82 in overtime.
About 5,500 fans at the Stan Sheriff Center cheered the Rainbow Warriors on to a thrilling comeback win against the Musketeers in a consolation bracket game of the Diamond Head Classic.
Joston Thomas’ game-winning contested layup with 0.8 seconds left rolled around the rim and in, giving him a career- and team-high 24 points.
It is UH’s first win over a ranked team since 2005, when the Rainbow Warriors beat Michigan State.
Hawaii (6-5) plays Clemson on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. for fifth place in the tournament. Xavier fell to 8-3 and plays Southern Illinois on Sunday.
The Rainbows took their first lead of the game on Vander Joaquim’s dunk 30 seconds into overtime. Joaquim scored 20 points.
Tu Holloway led Xavier with a game-high 26 points.
Xavier scored the first 12 points of the game, and UH trailed by 15 with 13:53 left in regulation.
Hawaii tied it on a straightaway 3-pointer by Hauns Brereton with 2 seconds left, making it 77-all.
Xavier turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds pass, giving possession to UH under its basket, but the Warriors failed to get a shot off before the buzzer.
UH’s season leading scorer Zane Johnson was dormant in the first half, but came alive late with 14 clutch points. Brereton totaled 13.
Thomas matched his previous game high with 18 first-half points. He made eight of 11 shots from the floor and eight of 12 from the line for the game.
Mark Lyons had 18 points and Ken Frease 13 for Xavier.