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UH falls to Auburn 65-62 in Diamond Head Classic hoops

Auburn’s Rob Chubb dunked off transition with 3.9 seconds left after Hawaii had just taken its only lead of the game, and the Tigers held off the Rainbow Warriors 65-62 in the final game of the first day of the Diamond Head Classic college men’s basketball tournament on Thursday.

A crowd of about 7,000 at the Stan Sheriff Center saw the Tigers improve to 8-1 and the Rainbow Warriors fall to 5-5.

Auburn advances to play Long Beach State at 6 p.m. on Friday and UH meets Xavier at 8:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised on ESPNU.

Vander Joaquim hit a 7-foot hook shot with 8.6 seconds left and UH led 63-62. But the Tigers got the ball upcourt quickly and Chubb was open for the slam.

Chris Denson hit two free throws for the final margin. Trevor Wiseman’s final desperation shot went off the rim, but was waved off as too late anyway.

Hawaii’s Zane Johnson was game-high with 18 points.  Frankie Sullivan led Auburn with 17 points.

Sullivan made both ends of a 1-and-1 situation to give Auburn a 61-57 lead with 43 seconds left. Wiseman then scored cutting to the basket and made a free throw for a 3-point play that closed it to 61-60 with 28 seconds left.

Hawaii tied it at 43-all on two free throws by Wiseman with 14:40 left in the game capped a 9-0 run that included a long 3-pointer by Johnson.

But Auburn bounced back, and led 51-44 with 8:36 left as Chubb hit a mini-hook.

The Rainbows closed  53-51 on Joaquim’s free throw with 3:53 left.

Auburn led 35-29 at halftime with balanced scoring as Denson and Sullivan scored seven points each.

The Tigers’ margin was 24-13 with 7:49 left in the half, but the Rainbow Warriors got back into the game with a 10-0 run highlighted by a 3-pointer and two free throws from Johnson.

But Auburn regained control. Kenny Gabriel’s trey and Sullivan’s basket made it 35-27 before Joston Thomas scored for the final points of the half.

UH made 5-of-12 free throws before the break.

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