UHH Opens Season With Blowout of Chaminade
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by Josh Pacheco
It was a long, but worthwhile wait.
Twenty-six days after losing in an exhibition game to the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, and 14 days after beating D. One, a group of former Division I women’s basketball players, the University of Hawai`i at Hilo women’s basketball team finally played a game that mattered.
The Vulcans unveiled a quicker tempo and a stingy defense in a 90-62 victory over Chaminade University in front of 135 fans, largely students, on the campus of UH Hilo.
Despite being members of the same conference, this game did not count toward the PacWest Conference standings because it was scheduled by both teams to meet NCAA standards for a minimum amount of games scheduled to be played.
UH Hilo (1-0, 0-0 PacWest) got out to an early 20-6 advantage over the shorthanded Silverswords over the first 9:30 of the game. Seven different players contributed at least one point in the early run.
Chaminade (0-1, 0-0 PacWest) got within ten points of the lead at 20-10 within the next 89 seconds. Rhani Kaneaiakala scored three of the four points in that run. But, the deficit would not get any lower than that number. The Vulcans closed the half on a 22-13 run to take a 42-23 halftime lead.
Right away, the Vulcans exited the locker room and quickly scored seven points in a row to open up a 26 point advantage in the first 80 seconds of the second half. Jazzmyn Davis hit a pair of jump shots, and Shannon Rousseau drained a three to extend the lead to 49-23.
The lead got as high as 34 points in the second half. Chaminade would go on a 9-0 run midway through the second half to cut that lead down to 25 with 9:32 remaining. Sabrina Angle drained a long three from the right wing, as well as a mid-range jump shot on the left side of the floor, to cut the score down to 66-41.
In the end, UH Hilo’s depth and quickness did the Silverswords in, leading to the runaway 28-point victory.
Several newcomers led UH Hilo in their regular season debuts. Jazzmyn Davis, a junior transfer from College of the Canyons, scored eight points in each half and finished with a game high 16. She shot 6-of-8 from the fielld and corralled 6 rebounds.
Utah State transfer Kamie Imai, a graduate of Waiakea High and sister of senior Kirsty Imai, showed an all-around game in her 12 point output. Along with her 5-of-10 shooting performance, she picked up five rebounds, dished out four assists, blocked a pair of shots, and grabbed two steals. The younger Imai has two years of eligibility at UHH.
Kirsten Shimizu, Natalie Mata, and Jameia McDuffie eached scored 10 points for the Vulcans.
Kaneaiakala led Chaminade with 12 points and 9 rebounds in 28 minutes. She went 4-of-12 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free throw line. Angle added 11 points, all in the second half, in a losing effort.
Both teams will compete in the Oahu Classic at McKinley High School. Play begins on Thursday when UH Hilo faces Minnesota State University Moorhead at 2:00 p.m. Chaminde plays Adams State at 6:00 p.m.
Chaminade 23 39 – 62
Hawai`i-Hilo 42 48 – 90