UC Riverside eliminates Hawaii from Big West tourney

UC Riverside eliminates Hawaii from Big West tourney

LAS VEGAS >> A late scoring drought led to the Hawaii basketball team’s ouster tonight in the Big West Tournament.

The Rainbow Warriors did not score in the final 5 minutes, 4 seconds as UC Riverside pulled away to a 62-52 victory in the quarterfinals. The Highlanders advance into Friday’s semifinals against second-seeded UC Irvine. The ’Bows will head back to the Hawaii after once again failing to win their tournament opener. The ’Bows have not advanced out of the first round since 2016, when they qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

The ’Bows had tied it at 49 with 6:40 to play, then closed to 53-51 with 5:04 on left on Biwali Bayles’ putback. But the ’Bows would not hit another field goal.

UCR’s Dominick Pickett buried a 3 from 24 feet and Jock Perry drained a short jumper to end the suspense.

Junior Madut led UH with 12 points. But team captain Justin Webster scored four points — all on free throws — while failing to connect on six field-goal attempts.

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