Mens Basketball: Bows better Bulldogs

Hawaii wins third consecutive road game with a 67-60 victory over Louisiana Tech.

RUSTON, La. - The Hawai'i men's basketball team accomplished what no other team in school history did, Saturday night, after winning all three Western Athletic Conference games on its three-game road trip, with a 67-60 victory over Louisiana Tech, at the Thomas Assembly Center. The Rainbow Warriors improved to 12-3 overall and 4-1 in league play.

Prior to Saturday's victory, the 'Bows defeated San Jose State (83-76), Jan. 10 and SMU (66-65), Jan. 15 during its 11-day road trip. Since joining the WAC in 1979, UH has never won three regular season games during the same road trip (excluding WAC Tournament).

Sophomore Julian Sensley paced the 'Bows with a game-high 19 points, including 15 in the second half. The forward converted 9-of-11 from the field and grabbed six rebounds. Seniors Phil Martin and Michael Kuebler each scored 14 points for UH, who snapped a two-game losing streak to the Bulldogs at the Thomas Assembly Center.

As a team, the 'Bows shot 49.1 percent from the field, boosted by a 60 percent performance in the second half. Although out-rebounded 42-30, UH executed its offense with precision, assisting on 18 of its 26 baskets.

In the first half, UH scored seven unanswered to take a 14-7 lead with 12:22 left. The Bulldogs rallied with five consecutive points by freshman Paul Millsap and three straight Wayne Powell buckets to tie the game at 20.

The Bulldogs took its first lead of the half with a jumper by Corey Dean at the 2:11 mark. But the 'Bows answered back and Paul Jesinskis' baseline jumper as the halftime clock expired gave them a 26-24 lead.

Tech displayed its dominance on the glass early, out-rebounding UH by a 24-16 margin at the half, including 10 of Millsap's 15. However the Bulldogs shot just 31.3 percent from the field and the 'Bows took advantage of eight Tech turnovers.

UH came out running in the second half and Logan Lee's second fastbreak lay-up put them ahead 35-29. The 'Bows extended its lead to 45-36 with 12:28 to play after Sensley's fastbreak slam. On UH's next possession, Sensley converted a three-point play to push the lead into double digits and after a LTU turnover, Martin's three-point play put the 'Bows ahead 51-36.

The Bulldogs answered quickly with consecutive 3-pointers by Donell Allick and Eric Woods to close to 51-42. Sensley responded with back-to-back buckets for a 55-44 lead. Tech then went down low to Millsap who scored four straight to pull the Bulldogs to 55-48 with 7:39 to play.

With Hawai'i still holding a seven-point lead, Powell's baseline jumper with the shot clock winding down pulled the Bulldogs to as close as 57-52. Moments later, Sensley's putback off a Martin miss pushed the UH lead to eight with 1:48 remaining.

The Bulldogs made one last comeback, as Alleck's lay-up and JueMichael Young's 3-pointer after a UH turnover, closed the deficit to 64-59 with 44.4 seconds left. But the 'Bows converted its free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

Millsap, who leads the nation in rounding, posted 16 points and 15 boards for Tech (8-8, 2-4). Powell finished with 16 points.

The 'Bows return home to face UTEP, Thursday, Jan. 22 and Boise State, Saturday, Jan. 24. Tip-off for both games is set for 7:05 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

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