Hornets fall at Hawaii 77-66 in final MEAC hoop tune-up

HONOLULU — Many people travel to Hawaii for the holidays to escape the winter cold for some fun in the sun. Delaware State’s visit to the Aloha State this week was not quite as enjoyable, as the Hornets were frustrated by the University of Hawaii 77-66 at the Stan Sheriff Center Thursday night.

The contest marked the season’s final non-conference game for DSU, which begins its 2016-17 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference schedule next weekend at North Carolina A&T.

Jack Purchase led the Rainbow Warriors with 21 points, highlighted by five three-point field goals. He also had a team-high eight rebounds. Sheriff Drammeh added 12 points and Brocke Stepteau 10 for Hawaii.

Devin Morgan was high man for Delaware State, topping all players with 26 points on 9-for-13 shooting overall and 4-of-6 from three-point range. Morgan has scored 50 points in the last two games, knocking down 16 of his 29 shots (55.2%), including 8-of-16 from beyond the arc (50%) during the span. He has five 20-point games this season, topping his total of four as a freshman during his 2015-16 MEAC Rookie-of-the-Year campaign
DeAndre Haywood added 16 points for the Hornets on 6-of-11 shooting, including a season-high three three-point field goals.

Hawaii (6-7) led 41-27 at the half. The Hornets outscored the Warriors 39-36 in the final 20 minutes, but trailed by as many as 20 points after the break.

Delaware State (3-12) was outrebounded 35-21 and hurt by 14-of-25 shooting at the free throw line (56%). Hawaii was 17-of-20 at the line in the contest.

The Hornets tied the game at 19 on a three-pointer by Haywood before Hawaii took control.

Delaware State was outscored 17-8 over the next seven minutes, and fell behind 36-27 on a Hawaii basket with 3:51 left in the opening half.
The Hornets could get no closer than 14 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Hawaii led by 20 on two occasions in the half, the last time after a layup by Drammeh to put the Warriors ahead 61-41 with 7:34 left to play.

Delaware State speeded the pace of the game on offense and defense down the stretch, allowing it outscore Hawai’i 10-2 in the final 1:15 to make the final score more respectable.

The Hornets will return to action on Jan. 7 for their MEAC opener at North Carolina A&T. Game time is 4 p.m. in Greensboro, N.C. DSU will also visit North Carolina Central (Jan. 9) before returning home to face defending MEAC champ Hampton on Jan. 14.

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