UHH Women Rout BYU-Hawaii For Sixth Straight Win
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by Josh Pacheco
The University of Hawai`i at Hilo women’s basketball team is on a roll never before seen in the program’s history.
Following a four game road sweep that extended the team’s winning roll to five, the Vulcans returned home to silence BYU-Hawai`i and their high scoring potential. UH Hilo defeated the Seasiders 67-36 in front of 508 fans at the campus gymnasium.
UHH (10-6, 7-3 PacWest) opened the game on an 8-0 run over the first 4:35, thanks to treys from Jameia McDuffie and Kirsten Shimizu. Kamie Imai added a field goal to cap the run.
Meanwhile, the visitors struggled to score from anywhere on the floor, missing their first 11 shots from the field. Brianna Jessop changed that with 10:37 remaining in the opening frame with a putback basket. The Seasiders still trailed big, 19-5, at that point in the half.
Despite the early struggle from the floor, BYU-Hawai`i found a way to stay in the contest with their 2-3 zone defense. That brought down the amount of open looks that UH Hilo had at the basket. With the defense starting to gel, the offense caught rhythm. The Seasiders went on a 6-0 run over a three minute stretch to cut UHH’s lead to 10 with 4:32 left in the opening half. UH Hilo took a 14 point lead, 29-15, into the locker room.
The Vulcans exited the locker room and immediately took charge of the final half. UHH was quicker in attacking the BYUH zone and kept silencing Shayla Washington and Brydgette Tatupu-Leopoldo, who average at least 20 points per outing.
Tatupu-Leopoldo, a graduate of Farrington High School on `Oahu, was named the PacWest Conference Player of the Week on Monday. On Saturday, the team’s leading scorer was held to just nine points on 4-of-12 shooting. Washington, who averages just over 20 points per game, was limited to only eight points. She shot 2-for-11 from the field and 4-for-8 from the charity stripe.
Utah State transfer Kamie Imai compiled another double-double for the Vulcans. She scored 19 points and grabbed 12 boards to lead the way. Jameia McDuffie contributed 15 points, Jazzmyn Davis scored 12 points off of the bench, and Natalie Mata poured in 10 points.
UHH returns to the road on Saturday, February 2 to take on Hawai`i Pacific University at the Neal Blaisdell Center. The women’s contest follows the men’s game with tip scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
BYU-Hawai`i 15 21 – 36
Hawai`i Hilo 29 38 – 67