comscore ‘Bows roll past Davis for eighth straight win | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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‘Bows roll past Davis for eighth straight win

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Hawaii guard Isaac Fleming drives to the basket around UC Davis center Neal Monson during the second half of a men’s college basketball game tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center. Hawaii won 78-62.

On “Superhero Night,” the Hawaii basketball team got several heroic efforts to keep its winning streak alive.

The Rainbow Warriors prevailed over visiting UC Davis 78-62 before a season-high turnstile crowd of 8,114 tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.

UH (16-2, 5-0 Big West) won its eighth straight game, keeping pace with UC Irvine atop the league standings. The Rainbows bettered the 15-3 start through 18 games of their last NCAA Tournament team of 2001-02. It is the program’s best start at this point of a season since the Fabulous Five era of the early 1970s.

The eight-game winning streak is UH’s longest since the 2004-05 team started that season 8-0.

UH came out in Batman warmup shirts, and Davis played along with Superman shirts to go with them. The Dark Knights prevailed behind forward Stefan Jankovic, who led UH with 22 points and eight rebounds. Guard Quincy Smith set a career high with 18 points and Isaac Fleming added 13.

UH shot 54.2 percent from the field, slightly better than the 51.1 percent of Davis (7-11, 2-3), but also converted 16 of 19 free-throw attempts.

Davis forward Josh Fox, the reigning Big West Sixth Man of the Year, has thrived in the starting lineup this season. Fox powered his way to 18 first-half points among his career-high 25 to go with eight rebounds.

The Rainbows saw a 10-point lead cut to just two at the break and Davis drew even early in the second half, but the Rainbows asserted control and went up double digits down the stretch behind their disruptive guard play.

The Aggies hit UH with a 1-1-3 zone and dared the Rainbows guards to shoot. Smith and Bobbitt hit consecutive shots over it, boosting the lead to 31-24.

Mike Thomas scored inside on a lob to extend UH’s lead to its largest of the period, 37-27.

But Fox threw his team on his back, abusing the UH big men for position inside for easy looks. He scored on a putback, then on a 3-point play, to key an 8-0 Davis run going into the half.

Jankovic shot 6-for-7 in the first half and had 16 points and five rebounds at the break, when UH led 37-35.

Davis wasted no time drawing even on a basket inside from Fox.

Sai Tummala put UH back up with a 3-pointer with 16 minutes left, and Fleming followed with a deep corner 3 and a baseline take for an eight-point lead.

The Rainbows turned to their guards — Bobbitt, Fleming and Smith — to keep the advantage around double digits while Jankovic sat with his third foul.

Jankovic re-entered the game with under eight minutes left and promptly hit two free throws to extend the lead to its largest to that point, 66-53.

Smith and Fleming hit timely 3-pointers to keep the hosts in control.

Wing Aaron Valdes, the team’s second-leading scorer, missed his third straight game with a turf-toe injury.

Former Hawaii coach Riley Wallace watched the game from baseline seating and was recognized at halftime. He received a round of applause.

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