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.
Never miss a local story.
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.