Bland finished with 15 points, including 3 of 4 free throws in the final 22 seconds to close out the win.
Thornton hit a pair of free throws with 29.5 seconds left to give the Highlanders (9-9, 2-2 Big West) a 63-60 lead and Roderick Bobbitt answered with two free throws for Hawaii with 22.6 seconds left.
Hawaii (13-6, 1-2) tied it at 58 on Stefan Jankovic's jumper, and Bland answered with a step-back 3 to put the Highlanders ahead for good 61-58 with 1:38 left.
Jankovic had a career-high 17 points and Bobbitt added 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals. Hawaii led by 13 in the first half, 31-28 at the break and 56-54 with 3:58 left in the game.