POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 6, 2011
MOSCOW, Idaho » As far as Gib Arnold is concerned, his Hawaii men's basketball team has proved it can win on the road.
That may be the case, but it certainly wasn't apparent last night.
Hawaii's hot start screeched to a sudden halt early in the first half, and the Rainbow Warriors never recovered en route to a 75-61 Western Athletic Conference loss at Idaho.
Hawaii (13-10, 4-7) had won four of its previous five games, including two straight on the road, the first of which snapped a 13-game losing skid. But the energy that carried the 'Bows to victory at Boise State on Thursday evaporated quickly against the Vandals.
"We were playing well the first 4 or 5 minutes. We had energy, but something just hit us," said junior guard Zane Johnson, who returned after a one-game absence. "We didn't have any energy the rest of the game, no passion. And that was everybody."
Hawaii had surged ahead 17-10 to start the game, but Idaho's Stephen Madison hit three 3-pointers in a 1-minute, 41-second span to put Idaho on top 19-17. The Vandals (13-10, 6-5) continued their torrid pace, stretching the run to 15-0 to forge a 25-17 advantage with 7:01 to play in the first half.
The Rainbow Warriors finally broke their dry spell with a Johnson 3-pointer, and Hawaii eventually pulled even with Idaho at 30-all.
But the 'Bows never fully recovered, and Idaho went ahead for good on consecutive 3s by Jeff Ledbetter.
"(Idaho) shot the lights out. We jumped on them early and then they hit back-to-back-to-back 3s and kind of rode that momentum."
Much of that can be attributed to Idaho's hot shooting from long range. The Vandals hit 10 of 18 3-point tries and were led by Ledbetter (15 points) and Brandon Wiley (13).
"They shot the lights out," Arnold said. "We jumped on them early and then they hit back-to-back-to-back 3s and kind of rode that momentum."
Idaho coach Don Verlin, whose team broke a four-game losing skid, said it took the Vandals some time to adjust to Hawaii's defensive scheme.
"They were playing a 1-3-1. We hadn't seen that for a long time," he said, "They showed it at Boise for the first time. It's really hard to simulate what they do, not really what they do but their length. And I thought it took us a while to get settled in, and once we got settled in, we got some open shots and we started knocking them down."
Vander Joaquim provided one of the few bright spots for Hawaii offensively, tallying his second straight double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Joston Thomas added 12 points.
Johnson, who sat out Thursday with lingering symptoms from a blow to the head suffered against Utah State the previous Saturday, added nine points on 3-for-8 shooting.
Hawaii also saw the return of top defender Trevor Wiseman, who stayed behind Thursday to focus on schoolwork but boarded a plane and made it to Moscow in time for yesterday's game.
Johnson said the team's lack of energy against Idaho might have been a result of being short a few players against Boise State.
"We had four or five guys play heavy minutes" on Thursday, he said. "Any time you have to play that much, it's tough. But we're not blaming anybody. You've got to bring it every night."
Despite the loss, Arnold said it was a good road trip for his squad.
"Give Idaho a lot of credit," he said. "I thought they played with a lot of heart. But we can win on the road. I'm tired of talking about that. We're going to be all right."
|Rainbow Warriors (13-10, 4-7)|
|Vandals (13-10, 6-5)|
Key -- fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fouls; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.
Halftime -- Idaho 38, Hawaii 32.
3-point goals -- Hawaii 6-17 (Johnson 3-6, Miles 1-1, Ostrowski 1-1, Barnes 1-6, Thompson 0-1, Thomas 0-1, Brumfield 0-1). Idaho 10-18 (Ledbetter 4-8, Henderson 3-3, Madison 3-4, Tatum 0-1, Geiger 0-2).
Steals -- Hawaii 8 (Thomas 3, Ostrowski 2, Thompson, Johnson, Wiseman). Idaho 9 (Ledbetter 2, Geiger 2, Madison 2, Henderson, Wiley, Barone). Blocked shots -- Hawaii 8 (Amis 2, Joaquim 2, Johnson, Thomas, Wiseman, Kurtz). Idaho 1 (Wiley). Officials -- William Gracey, Ron Hernandez, Frank Harvey. A--1,191.
|New Mexico State||6||4||.600||4 1/2||12-12|
|San Jose State||3||8||.273||8||11-11|
|Lousiana Tech||2||8||.200||8 1/2||11-13|
Idaho 75, Hawaii 61
Utah State 77, Boise State 49
Nevada 89, San Jose State 69
Fresno State 72, Louisiana Tech 64
Louisiana Tech at New Mexico State
Cal State Bakersfield at Fresno State