The Highlandears called a timeout with 24.6 seconds remaining before Callum McRae missed a contested shot from the lane with 3.6 seconds to go and a fade away from Dominick Pickett was an airball as time ran out.
Eddie Stansberry added 12 points for the Rainbow Warriors (15-10, 6-5 Big West Conference), who ended a four-game losing streak.
McRae had 16 points and nine rebounds for Riverside (14-14, 4-8), which has lost six straight. Pickett had 12.
Hawaii led by as many as 16 in the first half and had a 37-23 lead at the half. A Stansberry 3-pointer to open the second half produced the big lead but the Highlanders fought back.
Riverside was up 55-52 with the ball but when Pickett missed a 3-pointer, Drew Buggs ripped the rebound out of a Highlanders' and earned a foul call. He made two free throws at the 1:02 mark. Buggs also got the rebound off the next Riverside miss, pushed the ball upcourt and fed it to a cutting Zigmars Raimo for a layup but the ball rolled off. However Dawson wasn't blocked out and had an easy putback for the win.
Hawaii plays at Long Beach on Saturday. UC Riverside goes to Cal Poly on Saturday.
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