Vulcans Sweep PacWest Twinbill over NDNU
It’s been a rough month for UH Hilo junior Terrell Mack.
After being kept home for the Vulcans three-game road trip at Grand Canyon, Dixie State, and Cal Baptist, Mack rejoined the team at home in an unfamiliar role, coming off of the bench over the next three games. It was clear to head coach Jeff Law that he needed Mack back in the lineup “by hook or by crook” to try to snap a six-game losing streak
The forward from Portland, Oregon picked the right night to score a career-high 34 points, propelling UH Hilo to their first win in 34 days, a 66-59 win over Notre Dame de Namur.
The Vulcans (8-12, 2-10) opened up the game on a 7-0 run through the first 2:26 of the game, starting with an opening trey by senior Zach Wilde, followed Mack and Michael Hearn both hitting jumpers. Notre Dame de Namur (8-13, 4-9) would fight back a few minutes later, getting a pair of treys by Aaron Mollet and Josh Pettit to fuel an 8-0 run to give the Argonauts their first lead of the game at 12-11.
After Hawaii-Hilo took a 32-31 lead into the locker room, NDNU came right out with a 5-0 run to open the second half, thanks to a Tyler Fricke deuce, followed by a Aaron Mollet trey. But, Mack came to the rescue minutes later, scoring five in a row to give UHH a 42-38 lead over the Argos. That lead would never be given away as the Vulcans were victorious.
“I thought he responded well to the challenge that was put out there in front of him,” said Coach Law in describing Mack’s night. “He had one assist and no turnovers, and for someone who averages about four turnovers per game, that was pretty good.”
Senior Zach Wilde picked up a double-double on the evening, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Those ten rebounds moved Wilde up to second place on the career rebounding list at the school, passing Todd Zirbel, with 519 boards. Merriel Jenkins is still the all time leading rebounder at UHH, collecting 621 rebounds in three years at the school.
Notre Dame de Namur 31 28 – 59
Hawaii-Hilo 32 34 – 66
Notre Dame de Namur – 22-43 FG (51.2%), 7-16 3PT (43.8%), 8-12 FT (66.7%)
Hawaii-Hilo – 22-50 FG (44.0%), 4-15 3PT (26.7%), 18-23 FT (78.3%)
LEADING SCORERS: NDNU – Aaron Mollet 16, Tyler Fricke 13, Josh Pettit 8, Micah Dunhour 7, Eric Bell 6, Wesley White 4, Cheynne Lishman 3, Marcus Hightower 2. UHH – Terrell Mack 34, Zachary Wilde 12, Kiel Myers 8, Mychael Hearn 4, Dirk Snel 4, Paul Batausa 2, Michael Melonas 2.
Lady Vulcans Win Elusive Close Contest
For the second time in seven games, David Kaneshiro’s Vulcans were able to win a game decided by nine points or less, prevailing 51-45 over Notre Dame de Namur. UH Hilo lost their last two games by a combined 14 points, including an overtime loss in their last game against Grand Canyon.
The game was an offensive struggle for both teams through the first 35 minutes of the game, with both teams only scoring in the thirties and shooting around 30 percent for the game up until five minutes to go in the game, when Notre Dame de Namur (5-16, 3-10) went on a 6-0 run to get within one point of the lead, 40-39, with 3:39 left. That’s when Kirsten Shimizu nailed a clutch three-point shot in the right corner to open the lead back to four.
After Emily Vore answered with a three-pointer of her own on the next posession, the Vulcans followed with jump shots from Jameia McDuffie and Jazlyn Afusia to push the lead back to 5 at 47-42 with 1:49 remaining, and they never looked back.
The Vulcans welcomed back Hillary Hurley into the lineup for the first time in several games. The senior dual-sport star missed the last several games due to an injury to her right knee. Hurley came off the bench to score 4 points and grab 5 rebounds in 17 minutes before fouling out.
On the flip side, UHH was without freshman guard Thea Hanato-Smith, who strained a tendon in her right ankle during practice this week. The Konawaena graduate said that she had never missed a game in her life, not even in age group or high school basketball, before Sunday night. She hopes to return to practice next week.
Notre Dame de Namur 20 25 – 45
Hawaii-Hilo 19 32 – 51
Notre Dame de Namur – 11-38 FG (28.9%), 1-5 3PT (20.0%), 22-31 FT (71.0%)
Hawaii-Hilo – 17-51 FG (33.3%), 3-13 3PT (23.1%), 14-20 FT (70.0%)
LEADING SCORERS: NDNU – Trisha Malaspina 16, Emily Vore 11, Natellie Saia 7, Jennifer Jasper 5, Pilar Mullins 2, Kathleen De La Cruz 2, Janie Hironaka 2. UHH – Kirsten Shimizu 10, Jameia McDuffie 8, Kirsty Imai 7, Shannon Rousseau 7, Hotia Vaaimamao 7, Elise Spain 5, Hillary Hurley 4, Jazlyn Afusia 3.