Despite a shaky first half and a deficit in the second, the University of Hawaii men’s basketball team pulled away from Mississippi Valley State 72-54 in its 2022-2023 regular season opener at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center on Friday night.
After trailing as late as 39-38 with 14:13 remaining, the Rainbow Warriors seized control of the game and led by 22 with 2:26 left.
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Offensively, Hawaii was led by a pair of players who weren’t able to finish the 2021-2022 season due to injury. Noel Coleman had a game-high 22 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the 3-point line, while Kahuku alumnus Samuta Avea had 20 points and a rebound in his first regular season game since March 7, 2020. Meanwhile, starting center Bernardo da Silva had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds despite dealing with foul trouble in the first half.
For MVSU, Terry Collins had team-highs of 15 points and six rebounds.
Hawaii resumes the Outrigger Rainbow Classic with a 5 p.m. game against Eastern Washington on Sunday.