Maui Sports

Late-game collapse ends Hawaii hoops season

March 21, 2011, 6:58 AM HST
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By Fred Guzman

With a nine-point lead and a shade over three minutes remaining, Hawaii appeared headed for the mainland. With a five-point lead in the final minute, victory still seemed likely.

But by the time the final buzzer sounded Saturday night, UH was on the wrong end of 77-74 score as scrappy USF closed with a 16-3 run before a stunned crowd of about 6,000 hoops heads at the Stan Sheriff Center.

So instead of advancing to a quarterfinal game at Santa Clara on Tuesday, Hawaii’s run in the tournament came to an abrupt and frustrating end, as did its season.

UH finished with a 19-11 record, a marked improvement under first-year coach Gib Arnold. Inheriting a 10-win team, Arnold overhauled the roster and guided the Bows to their first post-season appearance in seven years and their first winning season in four.


But that didn’t take out all of sting from a crushing collapse.


Zane Johnson, Hawaii’s best shooter, had an awful night. His backcourt running mate, Miah Ostrowski, also struggled as he was repeatedly beaten to the basket by USF freshman Cody Doolin.

Hawaii did get solid outings from senior forward Bill Amis, center Vander Joaquim and reserve forward Joston Thomas.

The defeated denied Hawaii its first 20-win season since 2004, when the Bows advanced to the third round of the NIT.


BASEBALL: Hawaii will be seeking to complete a four-game sweep of Centenary today at Les Murakami Stadium.

On Sunday, Zach Gallagher and Randy Yard combined on a five-hit shutout and Jesse Moore finish a homer shy of the cycle in a 5-0 victory.  The win was the fourth straight for UH, which improved its season record to 10-9.

SOFTBALL: It was a sobering weekend for the UH softball team, which is in the midst of a major hitting slump going into the start of the WAC campaign. Hardly what you would expect from a team that set an NCAA record last season for home runs while advancing to the Women’s College World Series.

The 16th-ranked Rainbow Wahine dropped to 22-9 after closing the Chevron Spring Fling with a 2-1 semifin al loss to BYU on Saturday although freshman Sharla Kliebenstein sluggered her ninth homer of the season and Stephanie Ricketts gave up five hits and struck out 10.

Hawaii’s four setbacks to end the weekend mark its longest skid since dropping seven straight early in the 2009 season. The Wahine managed four runs in five tournament games.

UH opens defense of its WAC title this week on Friday, hosting Utah State.

VOLLEYBALL: Hawaii posted a 25-23, 27-25, 25-17 road volleyball victory over Long Beach State on Saturday to follow up a sloppy four-set win over the 49ers on Friday. By winning their sixth straight, the Rainbows moved into a tie for third place with BYU in the MPSF, setting up a pair of matches against the Cougars on Thursday and Friday in Provo, Utah. The top eight teams qualify for the MPSF tournament, with the top four hosting opening-round matches.

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