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
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.