HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii men’s basketball edged out a win over U.H. Hilo Saturday night, but it wasn’t easy.
The game was the first of seven consecutive home contests that the team will play at the Stan Sheriff Center over the course of the next several weeks. The win snapped a three-game losing streak while bringing the Warriors to 5-4 on the season.
The Vulcans proved to be a tougher test then many anticipated. Hawaii-Hilo shot an impressive 53% from the field and forced the Warriors into committing 14 turnovers.
Head coach Eran Ganot praised the Vulcans ball pressure while also noting that other area’s of his team’s game – especially on the defensive end – need to be fixed before their match-up Sunday against Mississippi Valley State.
“We did turnover the ball offensively, which we need to work on,” Ganot said. “But defensively and on the glass, we were not even in the ball park.”
The game between UH Hilo and Hawaii wasn’t just a battle between sister schools. It was also a back-and-forth contest between old friends.
Hawaii sophomore guard Sumuta Avea played against childhood friend Kupa’a Harrison of UH Hilo. The two grew up playing together in youth leagues and had the opportunity to share the court Saturday night as college competitors.
“I played against a lot of those guys growing up,” said Avea. “To look into the crowd and see all of our old coaches and parents who were there who watched us play as kids, made it a cool feeling."
The Warriors head into an integral part of the season as they host Mississippi Valley State this Sunday and then will be the host team for the Diamond Head Classic coming up next week.
With six games in front of their hometown crowd, Ganot believes it is essential the Warriors play consistent basketball.
“It’s back to the basics,” said Ganot. “We have got a lot of work to do”.