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by Tiffany Garrett, staff writer

 

After defeating the University of Hawai‘i-Hilo on Jan.11, 77-74, the HPU men’s basketball team lost to them in overtime, 82-76, on Jan. 12.

HPU Rishi Kakad and Justonn Smith led the Sea Warriors with 19 points each, and Jay De Maestri led the Vulcans with 18 points and six rebounds.

Saturday night the Sea Warriors had the advantage at the half, with the Vulcans trailing by six points. Two minutes into the second half, Hilo’s Samuel Wilhoite nailed two free throws to cut the lead to four points. A jumper by Rashad Bilal and a tip-in by Perry Baggett tied the game at 33-33.

Kakad answered back with a three-pointer giving the advantage back to HPU, who kept the lead until a three-pointer by Hilo’s Vince Alvarado and two free throws by Brandon Price tied up the game once again at 54-54.

The Sea Warriors took a two-point lead after a Vulcan foul and held it until 4:30 left in the half. Hilo took a one-point lead with a three-point shot by John Smith, and HPU’s Jason Curtis answered with a layup, giving the one-point lead back to the Sea Warriors.

Hilo tied the game again with Wilhoite free throws. Another layup by Curtis gave the advantage to HPU, and another pair of Hilo free throws, this time by Hilo’s Jacob Briggs, tied it at 62-62.

The Vulcans and Sea Warriors went back and forth in the final minutes, with both teams exchanging the lead until another Alvarado free throw tied it at 66-66 and forced it into overtime.

HPU’s Smith gave the Sea Warriors an early lead to start the five-minute overtime. Again they went back and forth with Hilo’s shooting from the foul line answering HPU’s field goals with three minutes remaining, tied it, 73-73. Hilo took the lead by two, but Kakad answered with his fifth three-pointer of the game, giving the Sea Warriors a brief one-point lead and scoring HPU last points of the game.

By the end of the night the Sea Warriors had 26 personal fouls compared to the Vulcans 14. a fact that with Hilo’s 100 percent from the free-throw line in over time helped UH-Hilo win the game.

“ It was a difficult loss,” said Head Coach Darren Vorderbruegge. “We felt like we controlled the game for most of the time. I thought our team played hard and competed. That makes it a bit easier to deal with. But, like any loss, it hurts, and you have to begin focusing on your next opportunity,” Vorderbruegge added.

The Sea Warriors are now 4-10 overall and 1-4 in the PacWest.

The HPU basketball teams are currently on the mainland, where they will face Notre Dame de Namur and Dixie State College in conference matches. They return to face off against the Seasiders of Brigham Young University-Hawai‘i on Feb. 9 at the Neal Blaisdell Center. Tip off for the women’s game is at 5:30 p.m., with the men's game to follow.
 

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