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Hawaii opens big lead, holds off UC Riverside 72-63

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) Jack Purchase and Sheriff Drammeh scored 15 points apiece, Brocke Stepteau had 14 and Hawaii defeated UC Riverside 72-63 on Thursday night after losing most of a 20-point halftime lead.

Hawaii scored 19-straight points and closed the first half on a 25-1 run to lead 38-18. The Rainbow Warriors made 7 of 11 3-pointers and 15 of 27 shots overall in the first half while Riverside was 7 of 26 and 2 of 9.

Then the Highlanders got hot, making 18 of 24 shots in the second half. They had runs of 10-0, 10-1 and 8-0 to make it 55-51 with 6:12 remaining.

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But after Dikymbe Martin's 3-pointer at 1:18 made it 64-61 with 1:18 left, Stepteau found Gibson Johnson alone inside. Then the Warriors made six straight free throws in the final 22.1 seconds, four by Stepteau, to seal it.

Hawai'i (10-11, 3-4 Big West) is on the mainland for just the second time this season and lost to Riverside 70-64 eight days earlier.

Martin had 21 points and Chance Murray 15 for the Highlanders (6-13, 4-4)