Tillman scores career-high 16, Utah beats Hawaii 80-60

Published on December 02, 2017 at 08:52PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Freshman Donnie Tillman scored a career-high 16 points as Utah led start to finish in an 80-60 win over Hawaii on Saturday.

The Utes simply had more skill and size than the visiting Rainbow Warriors and cruised to the win despite some ugly play on both sides.

Tillman shot 5 for 9 from the field and added eight rebounds off the bench. Dave Collette finished with 16 points for Utah (6-1) while Gabe Bealer scored 14 and knocked down four 3-pointers.

Utah led 37-30 at halftime after a sluggish start offensively for both teams. Both squads missed their first five shots and went long stretches without scoring a basket.

The Utes finally got going off seven straight points from Tillman and a 21-8 stretch gave Utah a 13-point lead. Hawaii closed the half strong with a 14-8 run of their own, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Drew Buggs.

A 20-6 second-half stretch put the Utes up 59-40 and buried Hawaii. Utah won the rebounding battle 46-32.

Buggs led the Rainbow Warriors (4-2) with 14 points and Mike Thomas added 12.

BIG PICTURE

Hawaii: Utah is the first Power 5 team the Rainbow Warriors have played and, though they never led, hung around into the second half. Hawaii didn’t have the size to match up and a dismal 36.5 shooting percentage was a season low. A December 22 meeting with Miami in the Diamond Head Classic is the only other Power 5 team on the schedule. USC is also in the field.

Utah: The Utes still haven’t been truly tested. The 85-58 loss to UNLV was a bit of an anomaly and the nonconference schedule has been fairly weak. Everyone should learn a lot more about this Utah team next week at Butler.

RAINBOW, NOT ROAD WARRIORS

Hawaii played its first road game of the season on Saturday and the Utah trip is the lone nonconference road game on the schedule.

WELCOMED GUEST

Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell watched the game from the stands the day after dropping a franchise rookie record 41 points on Friday night. Students chanted his name and someone shouted “Rookie of the year!” Mitchell was gifted a holiday sweatshirt from the student section.

UP NEXT

Hawaii: Hosts Prairie View A&M on Wednesday.

Utah: Travels to face Butler on Tuesday.