On a day when a pair of seniors and former Salt Lake Community College teammates were battling for bragging rights in the Huntsman Center, the Utes’ freshman forward from Michigan stole the show.

Donnie Tillman came off the bench and, in what is quickly becoming commonplace, provided a shot in the arm. He scored a game-high 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting and also pulled down eight rebounds to help spark Utah to an 80-60 win over Hawaii in front of an announced 13,896 on Saturday.

Senior wing Gabe Bealer went 4 of 7 from behind the 3-point line and 5 of 8 overall to score 14 points, while senior center David Collette added 16 points and three steals. Justin Bibbins scored 13 points and went 3 of 4 from behind the arc, while Jayce Johnson grabbed 11 rebounds and scored seven points in 13 minutes before fouling out.

The Utes (6-1) improved to 5-0 at home this season. Tillman has scored 10 points or more for six straight games.

“[Tillman] made a great pass, I thought, tonight to Jayce when he got doubled,” Utes coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “That’s going be to be the learning curve probably for him. Teams — if they’re smaller at the three — are probably going to have to come and help and double-team.

“Any time you can force that, I think it give your team an option. He’s doing a good job. We need that additional post guy.”

The Utes built a 25-16 advantage with five minutes left in the first half. Tillman contributed seven consecutive points during one stretch in the first half, including three free throws. Bealer, who had scored a total of 11 points in his past three games, gave the Utes eight first-half points and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.

The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Tillman put pressure on the Rainbow Warriors defense throughout the game.

“That’s one of my strong suits,” Tillman said of playing in the post. “I did that a lot in high school, a lot of mid-post, low-post things. I think I’m a bigger wing and that’s somewhere I can be effective.”

The Utes led 37-30 going into halftime, and they never led by fewer than five points in the second half. When Johnson hauled in an offensive rebound, finished through contact and made the free throw to complete the old-fashioned three-point play, he gave the Utes a 19-point advantage, 59-40, with 11:03 remaining.

Utes senior forward Tyler Rawson dished out five assists and grabbed nine rebounds, while his former SLCC teammate Gibson Johnson, a Centerville resident, had five points and five rebounds for the Rainbow Warriors (4-2).

“It was a bummer not to get a win, but coming home and playing in front of my family and friends was a lot of fun,” Johnson said. “Playing against Tyler was a lot of fun as well. I was having a good time on the floor, except for shots not falling and not really getting a rhythm with my team. The fans were giving me a hard time, I was loving that. I wish I could have got things going, then I would’ve been able to bark back at them.”