Sports

UHH Men’s Hoops Loses Nailbiter to Dominican

January 6, 2013, 10:10 AM HST
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For the second straight game, the University of Hawai`i at Hilo men’s basketball team took a halftime lead into the locker room.

For the sixth time, however, the Vulcans found themselves in the loser’s column in a game decided by seven points or less.

Devin Golston’s game-high 25 points helped the Dominican Penguins rally from a three-point half deficit as the Penguins rallied back to defeat the Vulcans 82-75 in front of 460 fans at the UH Hilo Gymnasium.

“We know we needed to play a more complete game than Thursday,” said UHH head coach Jeff Law. “I thought we came out in the first half and we gave it everything we had.”

UH Hilo (2-10, 0-4 PacWest) once again opened with an improved team effort in the first 20 minutes. After trailing by three in the first two minutes of the game, the Vulcans got out to an 8-0 run in the next 1:55 of the game to open up a 10-5 lead. The run was fueled by senior Kiel Myers, who drained a three and finished a three-point play to bookend the spurt. Dominican would come back to tie the game several times, but would never see the lead again in the half.

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Unlike Thursday’s loss to Notre Dame de Namur, Law was happier with the way his team opened the final 20 minutes. “I thought we came out better out of the locker room…the effort was better, the smarts was a little bit better. Unfortunately, the team was better that we were playing.”

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Dominican’s inside game was ineffective for much of the game, so perimeter play and aggressive takes to the basket were needed for the Penguins to contend for the lead in the second half. Ricky Wofford’s second consecutive layup gave his team a 48-47 lead with just over 15 minutes left in the game.

For the next several minutes, both squads traded baskets and the lead before Myles Carrillo came off the bench and drained a three to give Dominican a 66-63 lead with 7:37 remaining in the game. The Penguins’ aggressiveness also led them to the free throw line, where they went 10-for-12 in the final 7:05 of the game to seal the deal.

The loss did not sit well for a team that still has not found a way to win a close game. Said Law, “I know the locker room is really frustrated with that. The coaching staff is really frustrated with that.”

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Mychael Hearn had another stand out game in the loss for UH Hilo. Hearn led four players in double figures by scoring 23 points and hitting 8-of-12 shots before fouling out of the game. Myers, who also fouled out, contributed 17 points and seven rebounds. Michael Melonas scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and CJ Brown dropped in 10 points on 1-of-9 shooting from the field.

Golston’s game-high 25 points led paced three Penguins who scored in double-digits. Forward Jammall Clark scored 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting while Dominique Taplin came off of the bench to score 11 points in 21 minutes.

The Penguins improved to 7-4 and 3-0 in the PacWest Conference. They continue their Hawai`i road trip when they face Chaminade on Monday night. Meanwhile, the Vulcans face a must-win situation when Holy Names visits the UHH campus Monday night. Tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN Radio and ESPNHawaii.com.

Dominican 37 45 – 82

Hawai`i Hilo 40 35 – 75

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