MANOA, Hawaii – The University of Central Arkansas men’s basketball pressure paid off early, but the Bears (1-2) could not overcome Hawaii’s (4-0) stellar three-point shooting, as the host Rainbow Warriors topped UCA 83-69 at the Stan Sheriff Center on Friday night.
Senior guard Mike Pouncy drained a three-pointer on a pass from junior TK Smith to give the Bears a 20-15 lead at the 10:04 mark in the first period. Hawaii’s Zane Johnson made a three-pointer seven seconds later which sparked a 31-10 run that lasted the rest of the half, giving the Rainbow Warriors a 46-30 advantage at the break.
Hawaii shot a blistering 60 percent (18-of-30) in the first half, including six three-pointers. Forward Bill Amis led the Warriors with 11 points in the first half. UCA shot 42.4 percent (14-of-23), but went just 2-of-11 (18.2 percent) from behind the arc. Senior center Carlos Dos Santos was 6-of-8 from the field with 12 points.
Trevor Wiseman made a bucket with 14:48 left to put the Rainbow Warriors up 60-37, their largest lead of the game. UCA fought back and was able to cut the lead from 23 down to 11 after a Dos Santos shot made the game 70-59 with 6:12 to play. Hawaii was able to hold the Bears at bay for the remainder of the contest, and pull out the 83-69 victory.
For the game, the Warriors shot 55.4 percent (31-of-56) from the field and 10-of-19 (52.6 percent) from beyond the arc. The Bears finished at 43.1 percent (28-of-65) from the field and 30.8 percent (8-26) from three-point range. Hawaii also held a 38-26 rebound advantage.
UCA’s pressure caused Hawaii to commit 23 turnovers, including six steals.
Dos Santos matched his career-high with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting, to go with six rebounds. Freshman guard Ryan Williams came off the bench to make four three-pointers and score a season-best 16 points. Junior forward Chris Henson finished with 10 points.
“Carlos has been working hard,” said UCA head coach Corliss Williamson. “He fought down low where we were undersized. He was able to convert and make plays. I have been happy and impressed how he has been improving and playing.”
Amis and Johnson led the Warriors with 15 points each. Bo Barnes made four three-pointers on his way to 14 points and Josten Thomas added 12 points and nine boards.
The Bears will return to Conway to host Champion Baptist on Tuesday. Tipoff will be at 4 p.m. in the Farris Center. Admission is free to anyone who brings canned food product.