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Rainbow Warriors fall to UC Irvine for first Big West loss

The Maui News

The University of Hawaii men’s basketball team fell behind late in the first half and was unable to recover in a 74-60 loss to UC Irvine on Saturday in Irvine, Calif.

Samuta Avea had 14 points and Eddie Stansberry added 11 as the Rainbow Warriors dropped to 10-6 overall, 1-1 in Big West Conference play.

Against the defending Big West champion Anteaters (9-8, 1-0), the Rainbow Warriors came out cold, falling behind 11-0 before rallying to tie it at 19-all with 8 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the first half.

UC Irvine closed on a 20-6 run to take a 39-25 lead at halftime. UH was able to cut its deficit to four midway through the second half before the Anteaters pulled away for good.

Collin Welp led UC Irvine with 18 points, and Brad Greene had 21 of the Anteaters’ 49 rebounds — UH finished with 34 boards while shooting 35.1 percent (20 of 57) for the game.

Hawaii next hosts Cal Poly on Thursday.