For the first time since 2019 and just the fourth time in program history, the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team advanced to the Diamond Head Classic semifinals with a 76-70 victory over Pepperdine at the Stan Sheriff Center on Thursday night.

Hawaii will face Washington State in Friday’s late semifinal matchup, which begins at 7 p.m.

All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station

On Thursday, the Rainbow Warriors (7-3) were buoyed by the performances of Noel Coleman and Kamaka Hepa in the first half, with the pair combining for 30 points and six 3-pointers, while the Waves (6-6) were 0-5 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes. Coleman finished with a team-high 22 points, while Hepa added 19. Additionally, point guard Jovon McClanahan a career-high 17 points, while Samuta Avea had his first college double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Though Hawaii led as much as 19 in the second half, a 14-2 run for Pepperdine cut the UH lead to 60-56 with 4:36 remaining before the ‘Bows eventually held them off.

Three players reached double digits for the Waves, including Maxwell Lewis’ game-high 23 points.

Entering Thursday, the Rainbow Warriors had not won a Diamond Head Classic game since 2019. After the 2020 tournament was canceled due to COVID-19, the ‘Bows lost their first two contests in 2021 before the final day was called off due to an abundance of COVID cases.