The Warrior offense struggled without three key receivers in Nate Ilaoa (knee), Chad Owens (suspension) and Jeremiah Cockheran (ankle), gaining a season-low 371 total yards.
Quarterback Timmy Chang finished 21-of-35 for 240 yards and no touchdowns for the first time since Sept. 6, 2002 at Brigham Young, a span of 14 complete games.
Warrior running back West Keliikipi scored two touchdowns and Hawai`i gained 82 yards on the ground to take a 16-10 halftime lead.
For the first time on the road this season, Hawai`i struck first when Chang orchestrated an 11-play, 67-yard drive, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Keliikipi.
Tulsa answered with a 37-yard field goal by Brad DeVault (6-3).
Keliikipi's second score, a dance from 10 yards out, gave the Warriors a 12-3 lead with less than a minute to play in the first quarter.
Chang got the Warriors moving again on their first possession of the second quarter, driving down to the Tulsa 8-yard line, but had to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Justin Ayat to give the Warriors a 16-3 lead.
Tulsa capitalized on an Oliver Fletcher interception to give the Golden Hurricane the ball at the UH 44-yard line. Four plays later, Killian hit Richard McQuillar across the middle for a 22-yard touchdown just before halftime.
DeVault brought the Golden Hurrricane within three (16-13) after hitting a 49-yard field goal at the 3:40 mark in the third quarter. Hawai`i has gone scoreless in the third quarter in the past two games.
Killian ignited the Tulsa attack in the fourth quarter by driving the Golden Hurricane down to the 15-yard line and handed the ball to Jermaine Landrum on an end-around to cap a 9-play, 68-yard drive and give Tulsa its first lead and what turned out to be the game-winning score to make it 20-16 with 11:06 to play in the game.
Penalties halted Hawai`i's attempt to answer with two false starts and a 15-yard offensive pass interference forced third-and-15 from their own 25-yard line.
The Warriors return home to take on WAC rival Fresno State Oct. 11 at Aloha Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.