GAME NOTES: The 49th edition of the Rainbow Classic takes over the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu this weekend, with one of the games involving host Hawaii and visiting Western Michigan.
The Broncos got off the right foot on Friday as they topped New Mexico State in the first round of this event, 70-64. The victory marked the first time WMU posted a positive outcome in a season opener since 2005-06. It was also the first time Western Michigan managed to pick up a win on the road in the season opener since posting a surprising 68-63 triumph over Michigan in 1997.
Hawaii went into its meeting against Tennessee State on Friday having lost six of the seven previous with the Tigers, but the Rainbow Warriors turned the tables on the visitors with a massive 85-55 blowout victory.
This game represents the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the hardwood.
In a game that featured four ties and seven lead changes, the Broncos started off with just 38.7 percent accuracy from the floor in the opening half versus New Mexico State on Friday, but picked up the pace after intermission, thanks in part to a 6-of-13 showing behind the 3-point line. Davis Brown led the charge with 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field, followed by Kellen McCormick and Austin Richie with 14 and 10 points, respectively, the latter connecting on all three of his attempts on the perimeter, but only 1-of-3 at the free-throw line.
Western Michigan was crushed on the glass, 47-30, held to just eight offensive rebounds, compared to 22 for the Aggies, but the Broncos made up for that by limiting NMSU to a mere 1-of-11 shooting behind the 3-point line.
The Hawaii defense was all over the Tigers in the opener, limiting the visitors to just 8-of-28 shooting from the floor in the first half, including 1-of-6 beyond the arc. After intermission, Tennessee State missed all nine chances behind the 3-point line, en route to the disappointing outcome.
The Rainbow Warriors may have had their struggles on the outside, converting just 5-of-19 shots, but the team turned the ball over just nine times and outscored the visitors at the free-throw line, 28-12. Christian Standhardinger registered a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Isaac Fotu and Garrett Nevels with 16 and 13 points, respectively.
Hawaii dominated on the glass, 47-28, holding the Tigers to a mere six offensive rebounds as the visitors ended up shooting 36.8 percent from the floor and 1-of-15 beyond the arc.
Considering the Broncos took down a talented and highly-regarded New Mexico State program yesterday, it would not be a stretch to see WMU turn the trick against Hawaii as well, although the host may have something to say about that.
Game Date and Time