Hawaii 72, Southern Cal 68
HONOLULU (AP)—Matt Gibson scored 16 points and made four free throws in the final minute as Hawaii held off Southern California 72-68 Thursday night in the championship game of the Rainbow Classic.
Bobby Nash scored 14 points and Matthew Gipson added 13 off the bench for the Rainbow Warriors (8-0), who won their fourth straight Rainbow Classic title.
USC (6-4) was led by Gregg Guenther’s 19 points and 11 rebounds and Jeff McMillan’s 13 points. Lodrick Stewart added 12 and Nick Young had 11 for USC, who fell to 4-2 under interim head coach Jim Saia.
Trailing by 11 in the second half, the Trojans rallied with a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 45-43 with 13:45 remaining on Stewart’s basket.
The Trojans closed to within one-point on four occasions after that, the last on Derrick Craven’s 3-pointer with 1:41 remaining. But Gipson made a layup on the next play to extend the lead out to three and USC would get no closer than three points for the rest of the game.
USC was ultimately done in by poor free throw shooting, making just 15-of-29 attempts, including an 0-of-7 performance in the first half.
Gibson was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.