Irvine, CA (Sports Network) - Chris McNealy tallied 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists off the bench to help lift the UC Irvine Anteaters to a 68-64 comeback victory over the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in a Big West Conference showdown at Bren Events Center.
Will Davis III had 13 points and Daman Starring poured in 12 points for UCI (8-9, 2-2 Big West), which had lost its previous two games. Alex Young chipped in 10 points, while Adam Folker ripped down 12 rebounds.
For Hawaii, Vander Joaquim led the way with 15 points, Christian Standhardinger notched a double-double with 12 points and 13 boards, and Brandon Spearman netted 12 points. The loss for the Rainbow Warriors snapped a three-game winning streak.
Neither team shot above 33.3 percent from the floor in the first half, but Hawaii took a 31-28 advantage into intermission thanks to a perfect 8-of-8 showing from the foul line.
In a back-and-forth second half, Hawaii led 57-56 at the 4:53 mark following a Isaac Fotu layup, but UCI retook the lead on its next possession after a pair of McNealy free throws, which sparked an 11-1 run for the Anteaters as they pulled away down the stretch.
UCI held on to win despite losing the rebounding battle, 46-35, thanks in part to nine 3-point field goals and a 16-11 advantage in the turnover department.