UC Riverside freshman Dikymbe Martin scored a game-high 17 points, including the go-ahead layup, and the shorthanded Highlanders pulled out a 70-64 win over the University of Hawaii basketball team tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Martin’s drive with 2:24 left broke the game’s sixth tie and UCR (6-11, 4-2 Big West) tied a program record with its fourth straight Big West victory and second straight win at the Sheriff Center.
UH forward Gibson Johnson scored 11 of his team-high 16 points in the first half and freshman guard Leland Green tied his season high with three 3-pointers in a 15-point performance. Guard Sheriff Drammeh also tied his career high with three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points, but UH (8-11, 2-4 Big West) dropped its second straight before a crowd of 3,324.
UH senior Noah Allen had scored at least 25 points in each of the previous three games, but picked up his second foul with 6:50 left in the first half and went into halftime scoreless. He finished with eight points on 2-for-7 shooting from the field before fouling out with 35.1 seconds left.
UC Riverside arrived at the Sheriff Center with a three-game winning streak but without two of their top four scorers — guards Chance Murray (11.1 points per game) and Malik Thames (9.3). Murray was UCR’s leading scorer in Big West play with 13.4 ppg followed by Thames at 11.4 and neither made the trip.
The Highlanders suited up nine players for the game, jumped ahead 7-0 and shot 60 percent (15-for-25) in the first half. They drained four 3-pointers and led 34-30 after a first half that saw 12 lead changes.
UH rallied from a 10-point deficit to catch the Highlanders, but Martin drove for a go-ahead layup with 2:24 left and held off the Rainbows from the free-throw line. Alex Larsson finished with 13 points and Secean Johnson added 12.
The Rainbow Warriors close a five-game homestand Saturday against UC Santa Barbara. They face UCR again on Feb. 2 in Riverside, Calif.