Led by guard Garrett Nevels and forward Christian Standhardinger, Hawaii exploded for 50 points in the second half and continued its hot start to the season Monday night with a 77-66 victory over Norfolk State at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Hawaii (10-3) won its third in a row and is off to the best start in head coach Gib Arnold's four seasons. Norfolk State (8-6) suffered its third consecutive loss. Standhardinger, who leads the Warriors in scoring and rebounds, once again paced Hawaii with 29 points and eight boards. Nevels shot 4-for-5 from 3-point range and finished with 21 points. He added eight rebounds. The Warriors improved to 3-0 all-time against Norfolk State, though Monday's game was the teams' first meeting in 12 years. Hawaii won both previous meetings by double-digit margins. The Spartans took a 28-27 lead into halftime, but could not hold it -- somewhat of a rarity for them. Norfolk State fell to 44-5 over the past three seasons in games it led or was tied at intermission. Hawaii used a 12-2 run out after halftime -- including back-to-back 3-pointers by Nevels and guard Brandon Spearman -- to take the lead and seize control of the game. Spearman finished with 11 points. Norfolk State, which only dressed eight players for the game, was led by guards Pendarvis Williams and Malcolm Hawkins, who each scored 16 points. Hawkins, the Spartans' leading scorer, continued his streak of reaching double figures in all 14 games this season. Center Brandon Goode added 12 points and seven rebounds. Norfolk State committed 19 turnovers and shot 15 fewer free throws than the Spartans. Hawaii gave the ball away 17 times. Both teams return to action Friday. Hawaii will host Omaha, while Norfolk State travels back to the mainland to host Mount St. Mary's.
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