Mens Basketball: Hawaii wins at San Jose State

The Rainbbow Warrior basketball team opens up a three game road trip with a 83-76 victory over the Spartans.

San Jose, Calif.- The Hawaii men's basketball team rode its bench for an 83-76 victory over San Jose State, Saturday night in a Western Athletic Conference match-up. The Rainbow Warriors snapped a two-game losing streak to the Spartans in San Jose and improved to 10-3 overall and 2-1 in the conference.

Junior Jeff Blackett came off the bench and scored a team-high 19 points, including 15 in the second half. Reserve guard Jason Carter chipped in with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting.

' Senior guard Michael Kuebler, the WAC's leading scorer, added 16 points while sophomore forward Julian Sensley recorded 13 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.

UH made nine of its first 11 shots from the field, taking an early five-point lead. The 'Bows built its lead to nine (28-19) after a Carter driving lay-up with 8:19 left. Moments later, a Phil Martin 3-pointer, the second of his career, gave UH a 35-25 lead with 4:08 remaining.

Freshman Bobby Nash's trey at the halftime buzzer gave Hawai`i a comfortable 40-28 lead. For the half, UH shot a season-best 60 percent from the field and converted 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. The team also held the Spartans to just two points in the final 5:56 of the half.

The Spartans made a run in the second half by shooting 57 percent. SJSU closed to five on several occasions but each time, the 'Bows answered the call. UH pushed its lead back to double digits with an 8-2 run midway through the period.

With just under 2:00 to play, SJSU closed to 72-69 after a pair of Demetrius Brown free throws. But the 'Bows responded with a Kuebler layup and on SJSU's next possession, Sensley came up with a steal and converted two free throws for a 76-69 lead.

Eric Walton's lay-up cut the deficit to 76-71 with under a minute to play. After a UH turnover, the Spartans trimmed the margin to three after two Bim Okunrinboye free throws. The 'Bows answered with a Blackett fastbreak dunk and his ensuing free throw put UH ahead 79-71 with 28.5 seconds remaining.

The Spartans (5-8, 0-3) were led by Walton's 19 points and nine rebounds. Four other Spartans scored in double figures.

The 'Bows continue its 11-day road trip with games against SMU, Jan. 15 and Louisiana Tech, Jan. 17. Both matches begin at 7:00 p.m. CST and can be heard live on KKEA 1420 AM.


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