Friday | December 15, 2017
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UHH hoops: Vuls top Western Washington


Special to Tribune-Herald

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Quite simply, UH-Hilo’s Vulcans refused to quit.

Senior guard Ryley Callaghan scored 25 of his game-high 31 points in the second half as the Vulcans overcame an early double-digit deficit to stun 22nd-ranked Western Washington 80-76 on Saturday night in the PacWest/GNAC Conference Challenge.

“I’m proud of the kids and how they responded,” Vulcans coach GE Coleman said. “That’s the first win in school history against a top 25 team on the road. That’s special for this group.”

UH-Hilo (1-1) trailed 23-9 midway through the first half but pulled within 40-37 at the break on Trey Ingram’s half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Callaghan hit two free throws to give UH-Hilo its first lead at 65-64. Ingram’s long 3-pointer from the top right put the Vulcans up 72-69 with 3:49 remaining.

Western Washington went up 75-74 on a jumper by Daulton Hommes. Callaghan answered with his fifth 3-pointer of the second half to give the Vulcans a 77-75 lead with 35 seconds left. After a Vikings miss, Denhym Brooke hit one of two free throws to make it 78-75.

Hommes hit the first of two free throws to cut the lead to 78-76 with seven seconds left, but the loose ball rebound went out of bounds to UH-Hilo. Callaghan was quickly fouled on the in-bound and hit both free throws to clinch the upset.

“It’s a monumental win,” Callaghan said. “It’s a huge win for us. It just gives us confidence. But, like I told these guys, we’re in there hooting and hollering, don’t be surprised. We expected this. It wasn’t like we come in here like, let’s not lose by 40. It was like, let’s go beat these guys. We’re a resilient group.”

Ingram added 20 points and Brooke had 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for the Vulcans.

Hommes had 22 points, 6-9 Deandre Dickson added 19 points and 11 rebounds and 7-foot junior center Logan Schilder had 15 points and 9 boards for the Vikings, which had routed Notre Dame de Namur 87-45 on Friday night.

The Vulcans bore little resemblance to the team that lost its opener to Simon Fraser, 87-75 on Friday night. They held their own on the boards, limiting the towering Vikings to a 41-38 advantage. The Vulcans also committed just seven turnovers, while forcing 10.

“Gutsy. I think we showed some character. Anytime you lose your opening game,” Coleman said. “I think the kids responded. They showed some toughness, some heart. That’s a very, very good team. We just hung in there and found a way.”

UH-Hilo, making the trip without injured senior forward Brian Ishola, plays at Saint Martin’s University on Tuesday, followed by weekend games against Central Washington and Seattle Pacific.


Alaska Fairbanks 56, UHH 50: The Vulcans trailed from start to finish, shot just 32 percent from the field, including 4 of 22 from 3-point range, and lost the rematch at Fairbanks, Alaska, where the temperature was 15 degrees.

The Vulcans got clobbered on the glass, getting outrebounded by a whopping 53-33 margin, including 18-9 on the offensive end.

Safia Sheikh scored 13 points to lead UHH (1-1) but struggled on 3 of 11 shooting and committed four turnovers.

Lexi Carpenter led the Nanooks (1-1) with 19 points on 7 of 18 shooting.


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