- Associated Press - Saturday, December 24, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - David Collette was eager to take the court Friday night, to say the least.

Collette scored 17 points to lead Utah to a 66-52 win over Hawaii in a consolation semifinal of the Diamond Head Classic.

The win helped erase the bitter memory of a three-point loss to San Francisco just one night prior for the Utes (8-3).

“We were ready for this one,” said Collette, who shot 7 of 11 from the field and grabbed nine rebounds. “We kind of talked about it before the game that this was our revenge game. We knew we weren’t playing like we should have (Thursday) night and we were ready to get after it (Friday) night and show what we could do.”

It was just the third game of the season for Collette, a junior transfer from Utah State.

“He’s been a load. He’s a tough guard down there,” Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “He started making some big baskets for us when we started losing a little momentum. A couple of those baskets at the rim were huge.”

Collette’s layup with 9:48 left to play gave Utah its largest lead at 49-29. Hawaii (4-7) got as close as 54-44 after a 15-5 run capped by a pair of Jack Purchase free throws with 3:01 remaining.

Lorenzo Bonham chipped in 11 points and nine rebounds in the win.

The Utes shot 47.1 percent from the field (24 of 51) and outrebounded the Rainbow Warriors 38-25.

Utah also dominated Hawaii in points in the paint, 40-18. The Utes recorded seven blocks, three each by Collette and Jayce Johnson.

Purchase scored 13 points and Brocke Stepteau added 11 for the Rainbow Warriors.

Hawaii made just three of its first 16 attempts from the field and shot 25 percent (6 of 24) before the break, tying a Diamond Head Classic record for fewest points scored in a first half (USC vs. Western Michigan, 2009).

The Rainbow Warriors shot 29.4 percent (15 of 51) from the field for the game.

Utah closed out the first half with a 12-3 run to take a 31-18 lead at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Utah: After allowing 16 3-pointers in an 89-86 loss to San Francisco Thursday, the Utes held the Rainbow Warriors to 6 of 21 from beyond the arc.

“It’s a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about seven guys that can shoot the 3 and you only have to worry about two or three,” Collette said.

Hawaii: The Rainbow Warriors have lost four straight games by an average margin of 16 points. They have shot 31.1 percent from the field and averaged 54 points during that stretch.

“We can’t be OK with the loss, we can’t be in this moral victory phase, but there was an improvement with the effort and that shouldn’t be talked about any more,” Hawaii coach Eran Ganot said.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Utah sophomore guard Sedrick Barefield got his first career start Friday, one night after he scored a career-high 35 points against USF. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Corona, California, native struggled against Hawaii, finishing with just four points in 17 minutes before fouling out with 4:24 left in the contest.

UP NEXT

Utah will meet Stephen F. Austin in Sunday’s fifth-place game.

Hawaii will face Southern Miss Sunday, playing in the seventh-place game first time in the eight-year history of the Diamond Head Classic.


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