Hazzard’s jumper lifts UC Irvine over Hawaii 68-67
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Evan Leonard scored 24 points, Max Hazzard added 15, including the game-winning jumper with seven seconds left, and UC Irvine rallied to beat Hawaii in Thursday night’s Big West Conference Tournament quarterfinal.
The third-seeded Anteaters advance to a Friday semifinal.
Hawaii extended its 29-26 halftime lead to 45-36 on Leland Green’s 3 early in the second half. The Anteaters closed to 47-44 on Leonard’s 3-point play, but Gibson Johnson scored four straight points and the Rainbow Warriors led by 10 on Michael Thomas’ dunk with 4:08 to go. Eyassu Worku’s layup sparked a 14-2 run and the Anteaters led 66-64 on his free throw with 37 seconds left.
Johnson’s 3-point play put Hawaii up 67-66, but Hazzard hit his jumper on the next possession and Brocke Stepteau’s jumper at the buzzer missed.
Worku scored 18 points for UC Irvine (17-16), which notched its third straight win against Hawaii in tournament play.
Johnson scored 23 points and Thomas had 14 for the sixth-seeded Rainbow Warriors (17-13).