LAIE, Hawaii – Joohan Lee had a career night as he led BYU-Hawaii men's basketball in a late comeback, but the Seasiders fell short in a 93-90 loss to Hawaii Hilo Saturday night in the Cannon Activities Center.
"I was really pleased with the energy off the bench we received from Gabe [Andrade] and Joohan [Lee]," BYU-Hawaii head coach Gabriel Roberts said. "With Caeleb [Roney] and Denhym [Brooke] getting into foul trouble early in the second we needed someone to step up, and they gave us everything they could. We were right there at the end and had our chances, but fell just short of getting the win."
Lee led BYU-Hawaii (4-11, 2-7 PacWest) with a career-high 19 points, shooting 71 percent from beyond the arc. Shad Watson added 14 while Denhym Brooke was one rebound short of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Parker Farris led all scorers with 36 points. Darius Johnson-Wilson added 15 for Hawaii Hilo (5-8, 3-4 PacWest).
BYU-Hawaii shot 50 percent from the field while holding Hilo to 47 percent. The Vulcans outrebounded the Seasiders 44-35 but BYU-Hawaii had 24 assists to Hilo's 18. Free throws were the difference as BYU-Hawaii shot 56 percent from the free-throw line compared to Hilo's 66 percent.
Bailey Kikuchi started the Seasiders' offense with a spark as he drained a three to start the game. Parker Farris matched it for the Vulcans before Roney added four points with two free throws and a jumper to put BYU-Hawaii up 7-3 four minutes into the game.
The Vulcans took the lead when Farris hit another three and Ryan Reyes laid it in to make it 8-7. Brooke and Roney led the 7-point run to answer featuring a jumper and a layup from Brooke and a dunk and a free throw from Roney to regain the 14-8 lead with 11:26 left on the first half clock.
The teams traded baskets as Hilo slowly chipped away and eventually took the lead again with 7:22 until halftime when Johnson-Wilson hit a jumper. The teams continued to trade baskets and leads until Hilo went on an 11-4 run to build a 36-29 advantage with 3:04 until half. Tanner Nelson sunk a three to cut the Vulcans' lead to four at 40-36 at the break.
Shad Watson connected on a jumper to start the second half, but Hilo's Farris retaliated with a quick three on the other end. The Vulcans went up seven again when Brian Ishola made a jumper but Joohan Lee answered for the Seasiders with back-to-back 3-pointers.
Lee stole the ball and assisted on a jumper by Roney to put BYU-Hawaii back on top 46-45 with 16:20 left to play. Shad Watson extended the lead with a made 3-pointer, but Hilo tied it up at 49 with 15:30 to go.
The Seasiders went on a 5-2 run, bookended with Gabriel Andrade finishing a layup and Lee hitting his third shot behind the arc of the night, but Farris continued his hot shooting and gave the Vulcans the 57-56 lead with 12:41 left. Hilo pushed the lead to six before Nelson cut the lead in half with a 3-pointer off an assist from Kikuchi.
The Vulcans slowly added to their lead to build a lead, but Brooke kept the Seasiders in the game with back-to-back dunks. The Vulcans held a 14-point lead with three minutes remaining in the game, but BYU-Hawaii continued its charge as Brooke hit a jumper and Lee drained another 3-pointer to cut it to 81-74 within a minute.
Watson made a free throw and Andrade hit a three off an offensive rebound from a missed free throw to cut the Vulcans' lead to five. Andrade swooped in for another layup and Lee sunk his fifth three of the night before Watson hit a free throw to tighten the gap to one with 11 seconds remaining. Farris hit two free throws to make it 93-90 and Watson's desperation heave was offline to give the game to Hilo.
BYU-Hawaii will return to the court Thursday night against Chaminade in Honolulu at 7:30 p.m. Live stats will be available online.