Hawaii senior guard Eddie Stansberry was named the Big West’s Player of the Week after averaging 27.0 points in victories over Pacific and Portland State.
But the celebration was short-lived.
Stansberry and point guard Drew Buggs combined to shoot seven of 26 in the Rainbow Warriors’ 66-53 road loss to Illinois today in Champaign, Ill.
It was the ‘Bows’ eighth setback in as many meetings against the Illini.
It was tied at 26 at the intermission, and the ‘Bows cut a 10-point deficit to 52-47 on Zigmars Raimo’s lay-in with 7:19 to play. But the Illini reeled off 14 of the next 16 points to move out of reach.
The ‘Bows did well denying 7-foot, 290-pound center Kofi Cockburn in the first half. But Cockburn feasted in the low post after that, finishing with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Illinois took advantage of UH’s aggressiveness — and non-aggressiveness — in hitting 15 of 23 free throws. The ‘Bows made two of three. The ‘Bows also were called for a hook-and-hold and two flops.