Sports

UHH Women Fall to PLNU But Clinch Tourney Berth

February 17, 2013, 6:19 PM HST
* Updated February 18, 12:20 PM
Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

It was a bittersweet day for the University of Hawai`i at Hilo women’s basketball team.

In the early afternoon, the Vulcans fell 51-45 to Point Loma Nazarene in a PacWest Conference matchup. Hours later, the Vulcans got a gift from Grand Canyon University: a win over Dominican University to send UHH to the postseason.

With GCU’s 51-38 win at Dominican, the Vulcans were assured a spot in the inaugural PacWest Conference Tournament, slated for March 7-9 at the campus of Azuza Pacific.

Back to the loss, where the Vulcans were as cold as the afternoon air outside of the gym. UHH shot 4-for-26 in the first half, averaging 15.4 percent, and failed to hit a field goal for a stretch of seven minutes and 42 seconds between the two halves. Jameia McDuffie ended the streak with a runner in the paint to cut the deficit down to 28-16 with 18:41 to play in the game.

UH Hilo (11-9, 8-6 PWC) kept chipping away at the Sea Lions’ lead throughout the second half. PLNU’s 12 point lead at halftime grew to 14 before slowly being whittled down to three with 2:27 remaining when Kirsten Shimizu hit a three pointer to cut the score to 46-43.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Callie Rhoads answered right back on the team’s next possession, sinking a three point basket at the left wing to bring the lead back out to six points with 2:01 left to play. She finished with 16 points and eight rebounds to help guide the Sea Lions to their sixth straight win.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

The Vulcans had a hard time containing Jessica Escorza, a 5-foot-11 guard/forward combo who used her size or ball handling ability to her advantage, depending on that possession’s defensive assignment. Escorza led Point Loma Nazarene with a game high 19 points and eight rebounds.

For the game, UH Hilo shot 30.9 percent (17-for-55) from the field, 6-for-22 from beyond the arc, and 5-for-11 from the charity stripe. Kirsty Imai led the Vulcans with 15 points, two steals, and three treys.

UH Hilo hosts Hawai`i Pacific University in a rematch of a game won by HPU, 88-54 on February 2 in Honolulu. The Sea Warriors are 10-4 in the PacWest Conference and hold a two game advantage on the Vulcans in the standings. If the season ended today, HPU would be the tournament’s second seed, earning a first round bye, while Hawai`i Hilo would be the fifth seed in the tournament.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Tip for the conference rivalry is slated for 2:00 p.m. and can be heard on ESPN Radio and ESPNHawaii.com.

Point Loma Nazarene 28 23 – 51

Hawai`i Hilo 14 31 – 45

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.