Hawaii Gets Balance Attack in Pittsburgh Upset
Maui Now Staff
The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team sent shockwaves through the college basketball landscape, beating Pittsburgh on Friday night 74-70 in front of a raucous War Memorial Gym crowd.
The ‘Bows (4-1) beat Pitt with a balanced offense as five Rainbow Warriors posted double figures in points led by Isaac Fleming’s 15 off the bench. Garrett Nevels had a near double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Chris Jones led Pitt (2-1) who will be heading to Lahaina this week for the EA Sports Maui Invitational Tournament. Jones had a game-high 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting, 5 of 8 from beyond the arc.
The ‘Bows fed off the Valley Isle energy early, racing to a 7-2 lead in part to a Negus Webster-Chan three-pointer. Webster-Chan finished with 11 points.
Pitt got it going and went on a 10-2 run to seemingly take control but Hawai’i would have none of it. UH went on an impressive 12-2 run to push the ahead 37-32 as the half neared to the close.
UH maintained its lead early in the second half. Roderick Bobbitt’s three pointer pushed the lead to 45-42 and again gave the ‘Bows a three-point lead just moments later with a layup along the baseline. A Sheldon Jeter bucket would tie game at 49-49 and the two teams went back and forth in the second half.
Pitt had a 5-0 spurt midway through the second half to take a three-point lead, but the ‘Bows went on a run of their own capped by a Mike Thomas tomahawk dunk. Fleming’s straight away three-ball with under six minutes left may have been the play of the game, giving UH a five point lead and propelled them to victory.
Hawai’i now heads to Florida to play in the Gulf Coast Showcase hosted by Florida Gulf Coast. The tournament begins, Monday, Nov. 24 with Hawai’i facing San Francisco.