UHH Men Continue to Roll, Cruising Past NDNU
University of Hawai’i at Hilo men’s basketball coach GE Coleman constantly emphasizes protecting home court.
After taking care of business the last two times out at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, the Vulcans protected its on-campus home, the UHH Gymnasium, in a 72-52 rout of Notre Dame de Namur.
“We preached that, from the end of Saturday night, that you’ve got to be ready to play in a game like this and bounce back from an overtime game on Saturday,” Coleman said in a postgame interview. “I thought our energy was there, I thought Dom [Dominique] Campbell really set the tone with his defense, and we were able to force them into some shots and get long rebounds and kinda get out and go.”
UH-Hilo (7-5 overall, 3-3 PacWest) used several runs to open up a big early lead. A 9-0 run that lasted about a minute put the Vulcans ahead 12-5 just four minutes in. Tre Johnson capped off the run with a vicious two-handed alley-oop dunk, lobbed perfectly by Darnell Williams.
After Jalen Young stopped the streak with an Argonaut field goal, the home squad unleashed another run, a 12-0 spurt to race out to a 24-7 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half. Yevgeniy Dyachenko and Joey Rodriguez each hit shots from outside the arc at the end of the run.
The lead only reached single-digits once, going down to nine points in the second half when Jalen Young scored with 12 minutes remaining, but it never got any closer. Young, the PacWest’s leading scorer entering the game with a 22-point per night average, was held to just eight points on 3-for-11 shooting in 28 minutes.
“We keyed on him,” Coleman explained. “We ran a zone but we matched up with him pretty much the whole game…I thought we did a pretty good job on a talented kid.”
All 10 players suited up for Coleman got into the game, including Waiakea High School graduate Maika’i Gahan, who is the lone Vulcan yet to score this season.
Johnson scored a game high 21 points to lead UH-Hilo, with Darnell Williams adding 18 points and a pair of treys. Yevgeniy Dyachenko came off of the bench to score 12 points on four three-pointers.
Notre Dame de Namur (2-10, 1-5) was paced by James Northup’s 13 points. He was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field, 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, and 1-for-1 from the free throw line. RJ Magar came off of the bench to score 11 points in 22 minutes.
UH-Hilo will welcome Point Loma Nazarene on Wednesday night at the UHH Gymnasium. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game will be live streamed at the UH-Hilo athletics’ website.
Notre Dame de Namur 22 30 – 52
Hawai’i-Hilo 37 35 – 72