The Hawaii basketball team’s turnaround season came to a heartbreaking end tonight as San Francisco rallied in the final 5 minutes to stun the Rainbow Warriors 77-74 in the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Hawaii led by nine with 4:20 left in the game only to see the Dons charge back and take the lead on a layup by Cody Doolin with 7.3 seconds left.
USF (19-15) will play Santa Clara in a CIT quarterfinal game on Tuesday. Hawaii ends head coach Gib Arnold’s first season at 19-13.
Rashad Green led the Dons with a game-high 22 points while Doolin finished with 13, the last four on two layups in the final 46 seconds with the second proving to be the decisive bucket.
Zane Johnson, Vander Joaquim and Trevor Wiseman led a balanced UH offense with 13 points each as five Rainbows scored in double figures.
Senior forward Bill Amis finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds in his final game with the Rainbow Warriors. Joston Thomas contributed 12 points off the bench and point guard Miah Ostrowski finished with nine points and six assists.
Thomas sparked the Rainbows off the bench with 10 points on 4-for-5 shooting in the first half and UH led 40-33 at halftime. It appeared the Dons had scored at the buzzer when Doolin came up with a steal and took it in for a breakaway layup. But the basket was waved off after a review.
Hawaii guard Zane Johnson hit his 98th 3-pointer of the season at the 13:25 mark of the first half, giving him the school’s single-season record. He entered the game tied with Michael Kuebler, who set the previous record in 2004, when UH last made a postseason appearance.
UH led 68-61 with less than 3 minutes left when USF guard Michael Williams came up with a steal and scored while being fouled. Johnson was called for an intentional foul on the play and Williams made one of two free throws to cut the deficit to 68-64.
The Dons also got the ball back, but Amis blocked a shot to start a fast break and basket interference was called on Ostrowski’s layup to push the UH lead to 70-64.
Some shaky UH free-throw shooting kept USF in contention and the Dons closed to three at 74-71 on a tip-in by Rashad Green with 1:02 left.
After Ostrowski missed two free throws, Doolin drove in for a layup and the Dons trailed 74-73 with 48.3 seconds remaining.
Johnson missed a 3-pointer from the corner and USF got the rebound and Doolin again found his way to the basket for a go-ahead layup with 7.3 seconds left.
UH called time out with 6 seconds left but Ostrowski’s pass to Amis went out of bounds with 1.8 seconds remaining.