The Hawaii basketball team breezed through its 2019-20 nonconference finale, and last game of the calendar year, 91-51 over visiting Maine tonight.
A Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 2,811 witnessed UH (9-5) shoot 58.2 percent, out-rebound the Black Bears 38-22, and generally dominate en route to one of the most lopsided victories in program history. The 40-point win tied for seventh all-time with a 98-58 blasting of Tennessee Tech on Dec. 9, 1988.
Fifth-year coach Eran Ganot received an ovation as he made his return to the sideline from a medical leave of absence that began just prior to the start of the season. Acting head coach Chris Gerlufsen reverted to being the team’s top assistant.
Guard Eddie Stansberry emerged from his struggles in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic to score 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting, forward Samuta Avea put in a career-high 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting and freshman big man Bernardo da Silva put in 11 with six rebounds in making his first start of the season.
Maine (3-10) of the America East Conference got to the free-throw line just five times, compared to UH’s 20-f0r-26 outing.
UH does not play again until opening Big West Conference play at Cal State Fullerton on Jan. 9.
Avea had two thunderous dunks as UH shot a season-best 59.3 percent in the first 20 minutes in building a 17-point halftime lead. UH hit nine of its first 13 shots, with Stansberry opening 3-for-3 from 3-point range, as UH jumped out to leads of 10-0 and 27-13.
Maine’s top scorer, Andrew Fleming, didn’t attempt a shot until 6:36 remained in the half and he finished with eight points.
UH took a 44-27 lead into intermission when Drew Buggs’ circus 3-pointer at the buzzer was ruled to have come after the shot clock expired with the ball in his hand.
Da Silva kept things rolling early in the second half as he scored six points in the first three minutes coming out of the break.
Justin Hemsley’s putback dunk with nine minutes left pushed the lead to 38 and Ganot emptied the bench. All 11 players to see action scored, including local products Kameron Ng and Zoar Nedd.