It was Bob Nash’s night, but UC Irvine’s game.
Nash became the first University of Hawaii men’s basketball player to have his jersey retired, but the visiting Anteaters beat the Rainbows 70-63 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Irvine led 27-26 at halftime when Nash — the leader of UH’s hugely popular Fabulous Five teams of the early 1970s — was honored with a sign with his No. 33 jersey unfurled high above the arena floor.
After the break there wasn’t much more to celebrate for Hawaii, though, as the Anteaters expanded their lead to 42-33.
Irvine leads the Big West Conference with a 9-2 record and is 17-10 overall. With its fourth consecutive loss, Hawaii fell to 5-5 in the conference and 14-10 overall.
Samuta Avea returned to the Hawaii lineup after missing the previous five games due to injury.