The University of Hawaii men’s basketball team squeaked past UC Davis 73-68 in a road contest on Friday afternoon.
The Rainbow Warriors improved to 11-8 overall and 9-8 in Big West play and guarantee themselves a first-round bye in next week’s conference tournament, while the Aggies drop to 8-7 overall and 5-4 in conference play.
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UH led for the duration of the second half, although the end of the game got shaky for the ‘Bows. After a James Jean-Marie free throw put Hawaii up 71-63 with 1:58 remaining, an Elijah Pepper 3-pointer and Ezra Manjon layup cut the lead to 71-68 with 51 seconds left. The Rainbow Warriors turned the ball with 16 seconds left on a JoVon McClanahan pass. Kennedy Koehler missed a 3-pointer with five seconds left for UC Davis, while a pair of Junior Madut free throws with 0.2 seconds left sealed the win for Hawaii.
The win also served as UH head coach Eran Ganot’s 100th career victory as a head coach.
Justin Webster led Hawaii with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Pepper had a game-high 19 points for Davis.
The Rainbow Warriors and Aggies will meet again in The Pavilion on Saturday in what will be the season finale for both teams. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. HST.