Error-prone Hawaii gift-wraps win for Tulsa

December 27, 2010, 7:25 AM HST · Updated December 27, 8:04 AM
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By Fred Guzman

It’s one thing to lose a game. It’s quite another to loss at home in such inept fashion as did Hawaii on Christmas Eve.

Playing the role of Santa, UH gave away six turnovers to gift-wrap a 62-35 victory for Tulsa before more than 41,000 stunned fans at Aloha Stadium and a national TV audience in a game lasting an excruciating 3 hours, 54 minutes.

The ugly performance – filled with turnovers, penalties and defensive breakdowns – left a negative last impression to an otherwise excellent season for a Hawaii team that earned 10 wins, a WAC co-championship and a No. 24 national ranking coming into the game.

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After keeping Hawaii in the game for most of the first half, UH’s defensive unit ran out of gas against a high-tempo Tulsa attack.

Hawaii actually out-gained Tulsa 479-343 with quarterback Bryant Moniz thowing for 411 yards and three touchdowns. Greg Salas had 13 catches for 213 yards and two scores.

But those stats don’t reflect the five picks, a fumble recovery following a muff by Salas on a punt return and the six sacks that enabled the Golden Hurricane to storm past Hawaii.

Damaris Johnson led the way for Tulsa by amassing 326 yards in combined yardage – 98 on five carries, 101 on four catches and another 127 on returns with two scores.

DIAMOND HEAD: The Hawaii basketball team can take a lot of consolation – literally and figuratively — from its performance during the Diamond Head Classic.

By defeating Mississippi State 68-57 in Saturday’s fifth-place game for the consolation title, Hawaii improved its season record to 9-3 going into a pair of tough WAC-opening road games this week at defending champion Utah State and Nevada.

Butler, last year’s national runnerup, took the tourneytitle by topping Washington State 84-68.

Hawaii opened with a 12-0 run and led by as many as 22 in the second half against Mississippi State, which was missing two key players who were suspended after engaging in a fist-fight in full view of fans and cameras at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Zane Johnson continued his hot shooting, leading the Bows with 19 points. Hiram Thompson went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line and finished with 14.

After opening the tourney with a loss to Florida State, the Bows rebounded with decisive wins over Utah and the battling Bulldogs.

UH sophomore Miah Ostrowski made his college hoops debut less than 24 hours after playing in the Hawaii Bowl. The former Punahou two-sport star caught two passes for 72 yards against Tulsa. He didn’t score in two minutes of action against Mississippi State.

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