Taking the court for the first time in the 2023-2024 season, the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team was outclassed by Saint Mary’s (Calif.) 92-58 on Friday night at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.
Friday’s contest between the Rainbow Warriors and Gaels was an exhibition game as part of the Outrigger Charity Invitational, where proceeds went towards Maui relief. As such, the result of the game will not count towards the season record of either team.
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Both squads gathered at midcourt before the game in a show of goodwill. Once the game was underway, the ‘Bows were served a grim reminder of the gap between them and the nation’s best, as Saint Mary’s looked every part of its No. 23 Associated Press preseason poll ranking.
The Gaels led 46-29 at halftime behind an efficient 19-for-31 performance from the field. Hawaii’s offense was paced by JoVon McClanahan’s 11 points in the first 20 minutes, but went cold for the majority of the second half, falling behind as Saint Mary’s relentlessly punished the ‘Bows offensively.
UH had multiple scoring droughts spanning minutes in the second half, allowing the Gaels lead to balloon as high as 82-44 with approximately five minutes remaining.
Star guard Aidan Mahaney had a game-high 25 points for Saint Mary’s to lead all scorers on 9 of 13 shooting with four 3-pointers, while McClanahan had a team-high 16 for Hawaii.
Afterwards, another 10-minute session of play was held in which both teams played their reserves, a 17-17 tie.
Hawaii will begin its regular season on Nov. 14 with a home game against Hawaii-Hilo.