RENO, Nev. – The University of Hawai‘i men’s basketball team’s run of hard luck continued in Reno with an 86-69 loss to Nevada on New Year’s Eve at the Lawlor Events Center. The Rainbow Warriors dropped to 9-5 overall and 0-2 in the Western Athletic Conference, while remaining winless in 14 all-time trips to Reno.

Two nights after taking three-time defending WAC champion Utah State down to the wire in Logan, the ’Bows couldn’t muster the same effort against a Wolf Pack (4-10, 1-0 WAC) squad playing in its league opener. UH got off to a slow start and never led in the game, trailing by 16 at the half and by as many as 25 after the break. The 86 points were the most given up by UH all season.

The Wolf Pack were led by the foursome of Olek Czyz  (23 points), Dario Hunt (23 points), Malik Story (18 points) and Deonte Burton (11 points) who combined for 75 of the team’s 86 points

Vander Joaquim led UH with a career-high 22 points and added 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Hiram Thompson chipped in 14 points, while leading scorer Zane Johnson was held to 10 points on five field goal attempts.

Nevada started the game on an 11-4 run. UH eventually tied the score, 16-16, and trailed just 24-22 with a little more than seven minutes left in the half. But the Pack went on a decisive 21-7 run to take a commanding 45-29 lead at the break. Czyz exploded for 19 first-half points to lead the Wolf Pack.

Nevada didn’t let up after the break, hitting six of its first seven shots, including four straight three-pointers by Story to take a 25-point lead, 61-46. Story finished with six three-pointers, while Hunt scored 15 of his 23 points after the break.

Hawai‘i now returns home to host a pair of WAC games at the Stan Sheriff Center, beginning with a meeting versus Idaho on Thursday, Jan. 6. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m. following the women’s basketball game.

BY UH Sports

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