The Hawaii basketball team got hammered by its worst margin of the season today, 84-56 at UC Irvine’s Bren Events Center.
The 28-point margin of defeat was the second-worst loss in UH’s five seasons of Big West play, just off a 29-point defeat suffered at Cal Poly on Jan. 24, 2013.
Freshman guard Matt Owies scored a season-high 13 points off the bench on 5-for-7 shooting. He was the lone bright spot shooting the ball, as UH converted 36.2 percent to UCI’s 57.1 percent. Forward Gibson Johnson scored 11 points and guard Sheriff Drammeh added 10.
UH (6-9, 0-2 Big West) shot 25.8 percent in the first half (including 2-for-18 on 3s) and trailed by 19 at intermission. It fell behind by as many as 29 points in the second half.
Guard Jaron Martin and center Ioannis Dimakopoulos scored 12 points apiece to lead UCI (9-9, 2-0).
Johnson scored seven quick points to help UH get out to a 9-2 lead. The ’Bows still led 16-13 when Irvine uncorked a massive 26-4 run going into the half.
Over that span, UH missed 13 straight shots — it went a span of 9:40 without a field goal — until center Ido Flaisher made a post layup with 1:26 left in the half.
Brad Greene came back with a layup and Evan Leonard made two free throws in the closing seconds of the half to bring the deficit to 39-20 at the break.
UCI kept up the onslaught to start the second half, pushing the lead to 26 on a Luke Nelson breakaway jam.
Owies converted a rare four-point play with 4:13 remaining to reach his new season high, which cut Irvine’s lead to 73-49.
The Rainbow Warriors’ previous most lopsided defeat this season was by 26 points against Illinois State in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.
Wing Noah Allen continued his offensive funk, going scoreless on 0-for-2 shooting in eight minutes played.
UH begins a five-game homestand at the Stan Sheriff Center next Saturday against Long Beach State.