The Hawaii basketball team came up empty in its two-game jaunt to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, falling 75-62 to Princeton today in Bloch Arena on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
UH (4-5) suffered consecutive losses under second-year coach Eran Ganot for the first time. UH was previously 8-0 under Ganot coming off a loss. The Rainbow Warriors went 0-2 in the Pearl Harbor Invitational and dipped below .500 for the second time this season.
Princeton (3-4) of the Ivy League shot 46.4 percent (to UH’s 38.0 percent) in front of a crowd of about 1,000, mostly comprised of military personnel. The Tigers went 13-for-15 from the free-throw line and 10-for-23 from beyond the arc.
A season-high 19 points from forward Gibson Johnson and 19 from Noah Allen could not get UH within range down the stretch.
Brocke Stepteau started at the point coming off a career-high 17-point outing in UH’s 11-point loss to Seton Hall on Tuesday. But it didn’t prevent UH from falling behind 10-2 and trailing by double digits most of the way until halftime.
UH came out inspired to start the second half, making five of six shots and chipping a 20-point lead to 10 in five minutes of play. A Johnson free throw brought the ‘Bows to within single digits with 14:44 to play.
Princeton extended it back to 14 at the line — the Tigers made their first 13 foul shots — and Steven Cook followed with a dunk and Henry Caruso a 3 to put the Tigers back up 19.
They extended to as many as 21 points.
Steven Cook lit UH up in the first half to the tune of 17 of his 21 points, sinking five of his first six 3-point attempts.
The Tigers closed the period on a 17-4 run and led 43-23 at the break, the largest halftime gap faced by UH this year.
In the first game of the day, Seton Hall (7-2) held on to defeat California (7-2) 60-57.
Hawaii does not play again until the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, Dec. 22 against Illinois State at the Stan Sheriff Center.