The Hawaii basketball team got off to a shaky start and endured a ragged finish.
In between, the Rainbow Warriors’ hot shooting proved too much for Central Arkansas to overcome in UH’s 83-69 win tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbows shot 55 percent from the field and hit 10 3-pointers to improve to 4-0 before a crowd of 4,499 (5,978 tickets issued) at the Stan Sheriff Center.
UH guard Zane Johnson made four of six shots from 3-point range and finished with 15 points. Forward Bill Amis scored 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting.
Freshman Bo Barnes came off the bench to score 14 points, hitting four 3-pointers, and Joston Thomas finished with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
“There were a lot of good things that happened tonight, especially the middle 20 minutes of the game,” UH head coach Gib Arnold said. “I thought we rebounded very well, I thought we moved it around very well. We were unselfish today.”
Hawaii led by as many as 23 in the second half. UCA got back to within nine in the final minute, but the Rainbows held on to remain perfect in Arnold’s first season as head coach.
“I give Central Arkansas a lot of credit in that game. They could have given up numerous times,” Arnold said. “Given a few additional 3s on their part or some additional mistakes on our part and it could have gone down to the wire.”
The Rainbows shot 60 percent from the field, hitting six of 10 3-point attempts, in the first half and led 46-30 at the break.
Hawaii trailed 20-15 when Johnson hit a 3-pointer and Anthony Salter’s errant pass banked into the basket for another 3-pointer to give UH the lead.
The Rainbows held a 25-22 edge before Barnes hit three 3-pointers in an 11-2 run. The UH lead swelled to 42-28 when Thomas drove and dished to Douglas Kurtz for a dunk with 47 seconds left in the half.
“They shot the ball well from the 3-point line and one of our keys to the game was to get out to their 3-point shooters,” UCA head coach Corliss Williamson said. “They really hurt us in the first half. Bo Barnes came in and hit some big shots for them in the first half and got them a lead.”
Amis made five of six shots and went into halftime with 11 points as all 12 UH players on the active roster saw playing time.
Hawaii opened up a 70-48 cushion on Johnson’s fourth 3-pointer. UCA scored the next nine points to creep to within 11 with 6:10 left.
But Johnson made a fast-break layup while being fouled and completed the three-point play and Amis drained a jumper in the lane to stretch the lead to 75-59.
Center Carlos Dos Santos led UCA with 17 points and six rebounds. Guard Ryan Williams hit four of the Bears’ eight 3-pointers and finished with 16 points.
The Rainbows close their season-opening homestand on Nov. 24 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.