Trojans Rally, But Can't Eclipse Rainbow Warriors
Dec. 23, 2004
HONOLULU (AP) - Matt Gibson scored 16 points and made four free throws inthe final minute as Hawaii held off Southern California 72-68 Thursday night inthe championship game of the Rainbow Classic.
Bobby Nash scored 14 points and Matthew Gipson added 13 off the bench forthe Rainbow Warriors (8-0), who won their fourth straight Rainbow Classictitle.
USC (6-4) was led by Gregg Guenther's 19 points and 11 rebounds and JeffMcMillan's 13 points. Lodrick Stewart added 12 and Nick Young had 11 for USC,who fell to 4-2 under interim head coach Jim Saia.
Trailing by 11 in the second half, the Trojans rallied with a 12-2 run tocut the deficit to 45-43 with 13:45 remaining on Stewart's basket.
The Trojans closed to within one-point on four occasions after that, thelast on Derrick Craven's 3-pointer with 1:41 remaining. But Gipson made a layupon the next play to extend the lead out to three and USC would get no closerthan three points for the rest of the game.
USC was ultimately done in by poor free throw shooting, making just 15-of-29attempts, including an 0-of-7 performance in the first half.
Gibson was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player.