The Hawaii men’s basketball team saw a 21-point lead trimmed to one in the second half, but the Rainbow Warriors pushed back against Marist and completed a 62-55 victory on Day 2 of the Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla., on Tuesday.
UH (5-2) takes on East Carolina (3-2) in the fifth-place game at 2:30 p.m. Eastern (9:30 a.m. Hawaii) on Wednesday.
Forward Aaron Valdes led UH with 10 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, while guard Garrett Nevels scored a season-high 18 points.
UH forward Mike Thomas missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw with UH up five with 24 seconds left.
Marist had its ensuing shot blocked and another attempt was no good. UH point guard Roderick Bobbitt was fouled with two seconds left and made both for the final margin.
The Red Foxes (0-4) of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference trailed big in the first half but got within a point, at 46-45 with nine minutes to play in the game. Negus Webster-Chan made a layup to end the run and start one for UH. He hit a 3 to cap a 9-0 spurt, extending the lead back to 55-45 with six minutes to go.
Marist scored the next seven points to get within 57-53 with two minutes remaining.
The Foxes hit two free throws with 1:11 to go to get within three, but got no closer from there.
UH led by as many as 21 points in the first half, but the Red Foxes closed the period on an 8-0 run and trailed 35-22 at the break.
Valdes grabbed 13 rebounds in the half.