UHH Women Cruise, Men Fall Flat Against Dominican
After struggling for a month in games that had been decided by nine points or less, Saturday afternoon’s 76-55 blowout win over Dominican was a welcome change in fortune for David Kaneshiro’s Lady Vulcans.
Before last night’s victory, UHH had lost five of their last seven games, with all of them finishing in single digits. The Vulcans Saturday held an 11 point lead with 15:33 left in the first half, and the lead never fell under that mark.
The Vulcans got off to a 10-0 start through the first 3:12 of the game, knocking down their first five field goals. Jazlyn Afusia scored six of those points, driving through the Penguins’ zone defense for her first basket, knocking down a jump shot from the free throw line on the next posession, and later finding an open spot in the zone and grabbing a pass from Elise Spain for another basket. In that same stretch, the opposition went 0-for-8 from the field.
“I think over the last month or so, we’ve become a better zone team, starting with the Grand Canyon game,” said second year head coach David Kaneshiro. “We moved the ball pretty well there…I think that time has helped us as far as tempo and spacing and what we’re looking for when we catch it at different spots on the floor.”
The Vulcans took a 30 point lead to the locker room, leading 45-15 over Dominican. To the credit of the visitors, they outplayed UHH through much of the second half, taking a lead once as big as 35 and knocking it down to 20 several times.
“Defensively, in the second half, we weren’t very good at all defending or rebounding, especially in transition,” Kaneshiro said after the game. “It got a little raggedy in the second half, turnovers, not really handling the ball well, not really handling the press.
Hillary Hurley came off of the bench to score 21 points in 18 minutes for the Vulcans, her best offensive output since returning a week ago from a right knee injury. Kayla Valentine lead Dominican with 16 points on 5-of-17 shooting.
Dominican 15 40 – 55
Hawaii-Hilo 45 31 – 76
Dominican: 20-57 FG (35.1%), 4-16 3PT (25.0%), 11-14 FT (78.6%)
Hawaii-Hilo: 32-62 (51.4%), 4-11 3PT (36.4%), 8-11 FT (72.7%)
SCORING LEADERS: Dominican – Kayla Valentine 16, Melissa Wise 12, Kimi Nakamura 10, Taki Te Koi 8, Danielle Yamauchi 4, Lauren Hyatt 4, Stephanie Carnes 1. Hawaii-Hilo – Hillary Hurley 21, Kirsty Imai 9, Shannon Rousseau 9, Kirsten Shimizu 8, Jazlyn Afusia 8, Elise Spain 8, Jazz Corpuz 6, Jameia McDuffie 3, Natalie Mata 2, Sheena Pio 2.
Vulcan Men Start Slow in Loss to Penguins
Jeff Law’s basketball squad has made progress in the last few games of doing something most people thought wouldn’t be an issue in February: making progress as a team. Most would agree, including Law himself, that the Vulcans took a step back last night in a 66-61 loss to Dominican.
“There’s no doubt it was a step back,” said Law. ” We were supposed to use that Notre Dame (de Namur) game and play better and play well. I don’t want to take anything away from Dominican. They played hard and the (Mark) Lewis kid hit some big shots and shot the ball really well, but we shouldn’t have lost that game. That’s hard for me to accept. The problem is I think it’s easier for some of the guys to accept.”
The Vulcans started slow, finding themselves down 17-8 in the opening 8:22 of the game. In the huddle, Law said that his guys were playing scared, turning over the basketball six teams on bad passes and poor decisions against a weak Penguin zone defense. The Vulcans immediately responded by scoring 6 points in a row. Both teams stayed tight the rest of the half, leading to a 30-all tie.
The second half was equally tight, with neither side able to push out a lead bigger than three points, until Dartanyon Meggs of Dominican hit a contested layup in the paint and was fouled by Michael Melonas in the process. His free throw completed a three-point play, and extended the Dominican lead to 57-51 with 3:48 remaining.
The Vulcans then had their opportunities to cut into the lead at the free throw line. But, the Vulcans could not capitalize on those chances, going 1-for-6 to close the game. Zachary Wilde missed two free throws with 4:43 left, Melonas went 1-for-2 from the line after the last media timeout, and Terrell Mack went 0-for 2, leading the Vulcans to a 52 percent free throw shooting night.
The disappointment spoiled a good night by two Vulcan big men. Zach Wilde scored the first 11 points in the game for UHH, finishing with 21 points and 15 rebounds on the night. Michael Melonas also played his best basketball of the year, scoring 16 points off the bench while grabbing 9 rebounds in 21 minutes.
Both basketball squads head to California for their last mainland road trip of the season, facing Notre Dame de Namur, Academy of Art, and Dominican this week in a three game, five day stretch.
Dominican 30 36 – 66
Hawaii-Hilo 30 31 – 61
Dominican – 23-55 FG (41.8%), 5-14 3PT (35.7%), 15-23 FT (65.2%)
Hawaii-Hilo – 24-50 FG (48.0%), 2-11 3PT (18.2%), 11-21 FT (52.4%)
LEADING SCORERS: Dominican – Mark Lewis 19, Jammall Clark 12, Derek Ober 10, Connor Haysbert 8, Xander McNally 7, Myles Carrillo 3, Dartanyon Meggs 3, Ricky Wofford 2, Xavier Muldrow 2. Hawaii-Hilo – Zachary Wilde 21, Michael Melonas 16, Kiel Myers 9, Terrell Mack 8, Paul Batausa 4, Mychael Hearn 2, CJ Brown 1.