The Hawaii basketball team rallied for a thrilling overtime victory over Colorado of the Pac-12, 70-62, in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic consolation semifinals today at the Stan Sheriff Center.
UH (7-5) came back from six points down with less than four minutes to play in regulation and scored 11 of the first 14 points in the extra period in improving to 2-1 this season against Pac-12 opponents. Senior guard Brocke Stepteau played big down the stretch, including a three-point play at the start of the extra period.
After CU (8-3) tied it up on a three-point play of their own, Drew Buggs and Jack Purchase hit 3s to nab the lead for good for the ’Bows.
Forward Zigmars Raimo had 14 points and 17 rebounds for his first career double-double. Guard Eddie Stansberry scored 18 points and iced the game with some late free throws. Purchase had 14 points and 10 rebounds in front of an afternoon crowd of 2,265.
The Rainbow Warriors face Rhode Island at 10 a.m. on Christmas.
Buffaloes point guard McKinley Wright IV made his first seven shots, scoring 20 points on 9-for-12 shooting with eight rebounds, five assists and seven turnovers. Forward Lucas Siewert added 19 points.
The teams traded the lead several times in an offensively starved first half, and went into intermission tied at 24. Colorado shot 27.6 percent in the period, and UH wasn’t much better at 30.8 percent, in addition to committing 10 turnovers in the period.
Early in the second half, Raimo found Stansberry in the corner on a fast break for an eight-point lead.
Wright banked in a 3, kicking off a mini Buffaloes run to tie the game up at 37 with 11 minutes left.
Stansberry tied it at 44 with his third triple of the game, but Sievert answered with one of his own.
Sievert’s three-point play put the Buffs up 52-46 with under four minutes left.
Stepteau’s floater of the window brought UH within 52-49 with 2:37 to go. After a CU offensive foul, Raimo’s putback of a Stepteau miss made it a one-point game.
Wright sunk a baseline floater. Coming out of a timeout, Purchase hit a wing 3 to knot it at 54.
Stepteau knifed through the lane for a layup, answered on a post bucket by Wright at the other end, plus the foul. But he missed the potential winning free throw and the game remained tied at 56.
UH held for the last shot of regulation. Jack Purchase was off the mark on a 3 on a kick-out from Stepteau and Drew Buggs’ tip attempt rolled off the rim.
Stepteau got the extra period started with a three-point play, answered by one from Siewert. But the Buffaloes went cold from there, shooting 1-for-6 in OT.