By James Salazar
On Nov. 29, USF’s men’s basketball team lost to the University of Hawai‘i Rainbow Warriors 85-75 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Heading into the matchup, the Dons were undefeated, having started the season 7-0.
The Dons were slow out of the gate. They started out with a one-point lead over their opposition, but the Rainbow Warriors split the game open with an 11-2 run. During this time, the Dons were cold offensively, shooting just went 1-6 from the field.
The Dons spent the first half playing catch-up. At one point, USF trailed the Rainbow Warriors by 10 points, marking the team’s largest deficit of the season.
In addition to their struggles from the field, the Dons had difficulty draining shots from behind the arc. They went 2-12 in three-point attempts, ending the first half shooting 16% from long range.
During their offensive dry spell, senior Jimbo Lull was a bright spot for the Dons. Lull was responsible for sinking the team’s two first half three-pointers. By the end of the first half, the 7-foot center had crashed the boards to the tune of six rebounds, and he matched his season-high scoring with 16 points.
In spite of Lull’s efforts, the Dons headed into the locker room trailing the Rainbow Warriors by nine points.
As the second half commenced, Lull tried swinging the pendulum in the Dons’ favor. A 3-pointer by Lull helped the Dons get out to a 7-0 run and bring the game within two points.
Four minutes into the half, the Dons went on another run. This time, it was a 12-2 run that gave the Dons their second lead of the game. With about 10 minutes to go in regulation, USF extended their lead to four points courtesy of a layup by freshman Josh Kunen. USF was called for flopping, and the Rainbow Warriors went to the freethrow line.
The Rainbow Warriors followed their next possession with a basket, taking charge of the game. In the end, the Dons lost by a score of 85-75, snapping their seven-game win streak.
Though the Dons did not come away with the win, their players cranked out stellar performances. Lull recorded his third double-double of his career and second of the season with 24 points and 10 rebounds.