Hawaii basketball team sizzles, routs UC Riverside | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Hawaii basketball team sizzles, routs UC Riverside

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Hawaii guard Samuta Avea, right, blocks a shot by UC Riverside center Callum McRae during the first half.

With a flurry of 3-point shots — including a record-breaker by Jack Purchase — the Hawaii men’s basketball team buried UC Riverside 87-64 tonight.

Third-place UH (16-9, 7-4 Big West) could do no wrong in avenging last month’s four-point loss at Riverside in front of a season-high Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 4,868, shooting above 60 percent for most of the night before finishing at 58.9.

The lead ballooned from the outset and swelled to as many as 29 points as the Rainbow Warriors canned 13 of their 23 3-point attempts, won the rebounding battle by 13, and assisted on 23 of their 33 field goals while committing only nine turnovers.

Purchase, a senior forward from Australia, became the program’s outright career 3-point leader with his 181st make in the opening moments, snapping the tie with Zane Johnson that he achieved in Thursday’s home win over Cal Poly. He finished with 23 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.

Senior guard Brocke Stepteau hit his first six shots, including a troika of 3s, for 15 points in the first 10 minutes and finished with 17. Junior guard Eddie Stansberry busted out of a scoring slump with 15 on 6-for-8 shooting, including three 3s.

UH shot 62.1 percent overall in the first half — 9-for-13 from downtown — for a 50-29 lead at intermission, its largest of the season against Division I opposition.

Guard Dikymbe Martin got in on the act for Riverside (9-18, 3-8). He shot 8-for-13, including 6-for-9 on 3s, for 22 points. The Highlanders were 10-for-25 (40 percent) from deep as a team.

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