The Hawaii men’s basketball team held on for its first win of the Western Athletic Conference season, a 56-48 decision over Louisiana Tech at the Thomas Assembly Center in Ruston, La., today.
UH (10-8, 1-5 WAC) led narrowly most of the way and rallied after LaTech (9-10, 0-5) took the lead with 7:45 to play. With the huge victory, the Rainbow Warriors leapfrogged the Bulldogs for eighth place in the conference, while LaTech is in sole possession of last.
Senior forward Bill Amis led UH with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while junior guard Miah Ostrowski came up with big plays late to ice the win.
UH broke a streak of 13 straight WAC road losses and 15 road losses overall going back to 2008-09. The Bulldogs were held to 28.8 percent shooting from the field, including just 2-for-14 (14.3 percent) on 3-pointers. Meanwhile, UH shot 42.3 percent.
First-year coach Gib Arnold earned the first road win of his UH career, while the Rainbows improved to 3-7 all-time against LaTech in Ruston. UH equaled its win total from last season.
The Rainbows controlled a narrow lead for the first 26 minutes, but LaTech hit a go-ahead 3 with 7:45 to play during an 8-0 run.
UH countered with back-to-back baskets by Amis and Zane Johnson to go up 44-43 with 5:15 left.
Amis broke a 44-all tie with two free throws, and hit one more to put UH up 47-46 with 4 minutes to go.
Johnson, UH’s top scorer, fouled out with seven points with 3:17 left.
Hiram Thompson made a fastbreak layup with 2:43 left for a 49-46 lead, but LaTech drew back within a point on free throws.
Vander Joaquim (nine points, 12 rebounds) scored inside as UH went up 51-48, then Ostrowski stole the ball and fed Joston Thomas for an alley-oop and five-point lead with 1:41 to go.
UH got a stop on the other end, and Ostrowski was fouled on a rebound. The junior guard made both of the 1-and-1 free throws for a 55-48 edge with 1:11 left, and UH held firm.
The Bulldogs’ top two players, Olu Ashaolu and DeAndre Brown, were held to a combined 12 points on 4-for-21 shooting.