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UH Hilo Cagers Beat Biola in PWC Season Opener, 80-55

December 3, 2017, 12:46 PM HST (Updated December 3, 2017, 12:46 PM)
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Four players for the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo scored in double figures as the Vulcans led from start to finish in racing to a 80-55 Pacific West Conference win over Biola University on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at Waiakea High School.

UH Hilo is now 1-0 in conference play and 2-4 overall. Biola falls to 5-4 on the season and is 0-2 in their first-ever season in the PacWest.

The Vulcans, who endured a long week of uncertainty with weather and facility issues, put their off-the-court challenges behind them with a solid game on the court—albeit their high school neighbor’s court across the street from the UH Hilo campus.

Coach GE Coleman’s team hit 12-of-30 three-point attempts, out-rebounded the Eagles (43-35) and had just eight turnovers on the night. Conversely, they held Biola to 29 percent shooting from the field and the Eagles were just 3-of-25 from behind the arch.

“Two of our goals are always to keep our turnovers at eight or less, and out-rebound the other team,” Coleman said after the game. “We did that tonight, and also played good defense.”

The Vulcans led nearly from start to finish. Denhym Brooke scored seven of UH Hilo’s first 13 points, and three-pointers by Randan Berinobis, Ryley Callaghan and Trey Ingram gave the Vulcans a 16-7 lead just a little over five minutes into the contest. They led by double figures for most of the first half, by 15 points after a Mike Golden trey with 2:41 left before intermission. UH Hilo would take a 42-29 lead into the halftime locker room.

Callaghan hit a trey moments into the second half (45-29) and the Vulcans would roll from there. Six minutes after the break, another bucket by Callaghan pushed the lead to 21 points (56-35). The Eagles would get no closer than 19 the rest of the way, and the home team would lead by as many as 29 points before closing the books with the 25-point final margin of 80-55.

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Callaghan led the way with 19 points, hitting 5-of-8 three-point attempts. Ingram added 15, Brooke had 14 and Berinobis 11. Ingram led the Vulcans with eight rebounds and he also had four assists, as did Eric Wattree. Brooke had his 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks in just ten minutes of play, due to foul trouble. Devin Johnson added eight points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

The Eagles, a longtime power at the NAIA level, were led by Levi Auble’s 15 points. Trevor Treinen added 11 points, and Isaiah Jones led his team with 11 rebounds.

The Vulcans again played without last year’s leading rebounder and second leading scorer Brian Ishola.

This week, they had a postponement (California Baptist on Thursday) due to weather/floor issues, and learned earlier that they would be playing at Waiakea High School, not their own home court.

“The guys did a great job of staying focused,” Coleman added. “They were ready to play basketball tonight and it showed. We will need that same intensity and more on Monday night.”

The Vulcans will host Concordia on Monday night at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Start time is 7:30 p.m.

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