Warriors defeat San Diego, 77-66, to win inaugural Acrisure Invitational crown

Senior guard and co-captain Noel Coleman scored a game-high 26 points Saturday on 11-of-18 shooting to help Hawai’i defeat San Diego and win the inaugural Acrisure Invitational championship. (File photo courtesy Brandon Flores Photography)

The University of Hawai’i men’s basketball team remained unbeaten and added a new tournament championship trophy to its collection with a 77-66 victory over San Diego on Saturday evening at Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert, Calif.

The Rainbow Warriors improved to 5-0 by defeating the Toreros before a crowd of 1,293 in the title game of the inaugural Acrisure Invitational. The Toreros dropped to 5-2.

The last time a UH team started with a 5-0 record was the 2010-11 season.

Senior guard Noel Coleman scored a season-high 26 points to lead the Warriors’ offense. Forward Justin McKoy and guard JoVon McClanahan added 17 points each, and Harry Rouhliadeff contributed nine points and five rebounds off the bench for Hawai’i.

Coleman shot 11 for 18 from the field, and scored 16 of his points in the second half, when the Warriors pulled away. McKoy shot 6 for 9 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, and also grabbed five rebounds. McClanahan shot 4 of 6 from the field and 8 of 10 on free throws, and also had four assists.

San Diego had a 10-9 lead early in the first half, but McKoy responded with a 3-pointer, and then Rouhliadeff scored on consecutive possessions to give the Warriors a 16-10 advantage with 9:48 remaining.

Hawai’i stayed in front the rest of the way, and had a 34-25 lead at halftime. McKoy scored 12 points in the first half on 5-of-6 shooting, and Coleman added 10 points in the first 20 minutes.

The Warriors went on a 15-5 surge early in the second half to increase their lead to 52-35, and the Toreros did not threaten the rest of the way. Hawai’i led by as many 21 in the second half, but San Diego’s Wayne McKinney III and Deuce Turner combined for 20 points in the final five minutes to close the gap.

Turner led the Toreros with 18 points, and McKinney added 15.

Arkansas State defeated Texas-Rio Grande Valley, 75-58, in the game for third place.

The Warriors will remain in Southern California until Tuesday before heading to Utah. They will conclude the three-game road trip against Utah at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

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