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Idaho frustrates Hawaii again

The cold road can be difficult. The Hawaii basketball team discovered that as its momentum came to a screeching halt in Moscow, Idaho, on Saturday.

Idaho defeated the Warriors, 75-61, in a Western Athletic Conference game at the Cowan Spectrum in Moscow.

The Warriors entered the game having won four of their last five games, but the Vandals took control of this one early.

Hawaii dropped to 13-10 overall and 4-7 in the WAC. Idaho improved to 13-10 overall and 6-5 in the conference with its second victory over Hawaii this season.

“We played with some dead legs, I thought,” Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold said. “We really didn’t have a whole lot of bounce in our step, which we have had. We just looked really tired.”

Sophomore center Vander Joaquim led Hawaii with 14 points and 14 rebounds. He shot 7 of 10 from the field, and was the only Hawaii starter to shoot better than 50 percent from the field.

Sophomore forward Joston Thomas added 12 points. Zane Johnson, who returned to the lineup after missing the last game with concussion-like symptoms, scored nine points.

Leading scorer Bill Amis finished with eight points and three rebounds.

“I thought the guys were ready, I thought we had some good practices leading into it and a good attitude going into it,” Arnold said. “But they just got hot there near the end of that first half and we could never recover.”

Hawaii led 17-10 early in the game, but Idaho went on a stunning 15-0 run to take a 25-17 lead. The Vandals eventually took a 38-32 lead at halftime.

The Warriors never got any closer than that in the second half. Jeff Ledbetter hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Vandals a 53-40 lead with 15:24 remaining, and Hawaii never threatened the lead after that.

In a home loss to Idaho last month, Hawaii shot just 29 percent from the field. This time, the Warriors shot 43.6 percent from the field (Idaho shot 48 percent), and the rebounding was tied at 30 each.

Arnold noted that Idaho won it at the two important lines – 3-point and free throw. The Vandals went 10 of 18 (55.6 percent) from 3-point range, and 17 of 21 (81 percent) from the free-throw line. By comparison, the Warriors went 6 of 17 (35.3 percent) from 3-point range and 7 of 12 (58.3 percent) on free throws.

“You’re not going to win any games if you’re giving up that many 3s and that many free throws,” Arnold said. “What that’s a mixture of, I’m not sure … we have to figure out how to win when we’re tired, even when we’re down.”

Ledbetter led Idaho with 15 points, including 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.

Hawaii will get a bit of a rest break, as its next game is scheduled for Feb. 14 against Nevada at the Stan Sheriff Center.
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1 Comment

  1. Talk about coming to a screeching halt. Okay, let’s start it up again. We know it can be done. Go Warriors!

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