comscore Hawaii handles Hawkins, knocks off first-place UC Davis | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hawaii handles Hawkins, knocks off first-place UC Davis

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Aaron Valdes scored 21 points to lead Hawaii past visiting UC Davis 84-76 in a Big West basketball game Thursday.

A crowd of 4,410 saw the Rainbow Warriors (14-6, 2-2) come back from a road loss at UC Riverside by knocking off the Aggies (14-4, 4-1), who were the last remaining undefeated team in the conference.

Valdes, UH’s leading per-game scorer, came back from a 2-point performance in the Riverside loss.

UC Davis star Corey Hawkins, who scored 40 and 29 points his last two trips to the Stan Sheriff Center, was held to 19. The Aggies lost for the first time after five straight wins.

Mike Thomas and Stefan Jankovic added 13 points each for Hawaii.

Hawaii led 48-37 at halftime thanks to a furious rally in the final five minutes before the break and 62 percent shooting from the floor.

Negus Webster-Chan hit a pair of free throws and then a 3-pointer to give UH a 32-30 lead. It was the start of a 12-point run that concluded with a dunk by Valdes off a steal by Isaac Fleming.

UH then went on a 7-point run after a 3-pointer by Hawkins, and the Rainbows led 46-33. That rally was capped by Fleming’s score after he stole the ball from Hawkins.

Valdes had 14 first-half points to lead all scorers at the break, and Hawkins had nine to pace the Aggies.

The Rainbow Warriors never lost their double-digit lead until Tyler Les shot six free throws with 2 seconds left in the game.

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