In wrenching fashion, the Hawaii men’s basketball team remained winless on its Down Under tour on Monday night (late Sunday in the islands).
UH led the Melbourne Tigers of SEABL (Australia’s second-tier pro league) most of the way, including by nine points in the fourth quarter, only to see the host team hit a barrage of 3s late and put in the go-ahead shot with 18 seconds left for an 86-85 comebacker at the Veneto Athletic Club in Australia’s second-largest city of Melbourne.
Guard Brocke Stepteau led the way for UH with 26 points, the most by a ‘Bow on the tour so far. Melbourne native Mate Colina, UH’s freshman center, added 16 points and fellow Aussie Owen Hulland scored 12.
Another Melbourne native, forward Jack Purchase, scored seven against the club he formerly played with as an amateur.
Former ‘Bow guard Jakob Cornelissen suited up for the Tigers but went scoreless. Jeremy Kendle had the game-winner and a game-high 27 points for the Tigers.
UH next heads to the capital of Canberra, where it will face the Centre of Excellence team (Colina’s former squad) at the Australian Institute of Sport at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (9:30 p.m. Tuesday in Hawaii).