Alexander's career-best 315 yards lead Hawaii

HONOLULU -- Greg Alexander threw for a career-best 315 yards and two touchdowns as Hawaii defeated Washington State 24-10 on Saturday night and accepted an invitation to its hometown Hawaii Bowl.

The victory was the third straight for the Warriors (7-5), who will play in the Christmas Eve game for the fifth time since 2002 and became bowl eligible for the third straight year.

Greg Salas had seven catches for 131 yards, including a 19-yard TD reception on Hawaii's opening series.

Alexander, who finished 19-of-34 and recorded his first 300-yard passing game, also had 43 yards rushing. He hit a wide open Michael Washington for a 44-yard scoring hookup to give Hawaii a two-touchdown cushion that it wouldn't relinquish.

The Warriors took a 17-3 lead into halftime after settling for a 22-yard field goal by Dan Kelly, who earlier hooked a 27-yarder and later missed a 33-yarder in the fourth quarter.

Hawaii had first-and-goal from the 4 when Josh Leonard recovered a bobbled snap by Kevin Lopina. WSU was able to keep Hawaii out of the end zone with the help of a sack by Kevin Kooyman.

On a cool and drizzly night, the Warriors easily scored on their first two drives and took a 14-0 lead on Daniel Libre's 2-yard TD. But Washington State's defense toughened up and slowed down Hawaii's scoring with heavy pressure on Alexander.

Hawaii was without its leading scorer, running back Kealoha Pilares (foot), and top defensive back Ryan Mouton (ankle) but didn't need them.

For Washington State (2-11), the loss closed out its worst season since 1974 when it finished 2-9.

Dwight Tardy powered for a 1-yard TD midway through the third quarter to cut Hawaii's lead to 17-10 and awaken the crimson-clad fans. The score was setup by a 17-yard run by receiver Brandon Gibson off a reverse.

But the Cougars would get no closer.

Washington State's entire season was summed in one play in the fourth quarter. After blocking a 47-yard field-goal attempt, Devin Giles picked up the ball, danced around, broke the grasp of a tackler, backpeddled, danced around some more before pitching it to Chima Nwachukwu, who fumbled in front of the Cougars coach Paul Wulff.

The Warriors will close out their regular season next week at home against No. 16 Cincinnati (10-2), the Big East champions.


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