HONOLULU — Gibson Johnson and Mike Thomas scored 19 points apiece and Jack Purchase added 18 and eight assists to help Hawaii beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 82-70 on Friday night in the Outrigger Resorts Rainbow Classic.
Johnson hit 6 of 8 field-goal attempts, grabbed nine rebounds and had five assists for Hawaii (1-0).
Charles Jackson hit a 3-pointer to give UAPB (0-1) a 3-2 lead, but Purchase answered with a 3-pointer 30 seconds later and the Rainbow Warriors led the rest of the way.
Hawaii led by as many as 11 in the first half before taking a 46-36 lead into halftime. Martaveous McKnight hit two 3s and Dwain Whitfield added a third as the Golden Lions scored 17 of 21 points to make it 56-63 midway through the second half. But Purchase and Thomas hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 13-3 run that gave Hawaii a 13-point lead with 6:22 to play and UAPB trailed by at least eight the rest of the way.
McKnight had 25 points and Joe’Randle Toliver scored 17 for the Golden Lions.
Hawaii plays North Dakota and UAPB plays Troy on Saturday in the three-day round-robin event.