POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 19, 2012
The rust was audible, but understandable.
After a sluggish start, the Hawaii women's basketball team defeated Division II neighbor Hawaii Pacific 72-62 in a Tuesday night exhibition at the Stan Sheriff Center.
A seventeen-day layoff has a way of blunting effectiveness. And if not for this unusually-timed exhibition — almost all occur in the preseason — UH would have gone nearly all of December without a game of any kind.
UH coach Laura Beeman was grateful for the opportunity to play Reid Takatsuka's Sea Warriors to interrupt the malaise heading into winter break. It will be another 10 days before UH (2-6) plays an official game, vs. Long Island in the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Invitational.
The Wahine trailed by a point at halftime, but reserve point guard Monica DeAngelis hit four second-half 3-pointers to help her team assert control.
"Basically (at halftime) it was, be accountable, please," Beeman said. "No yelling, no Xs and Os. We did not want to go out in this part of our season with this kind of game, where there's no accountability.
"Be accountable for yourself and let's go out and do what we need to do, and do it in about eight minutes and call it a day. But no disrespect to HPU, they're a good team, and they do what they do well."
UH went on an 11-2 run to start the second half against HPU's four-out, one-in system. DeAngelis hit consecutive 3s to open a 46-35 lead and the closest the game got from there was nine.
"It's been an interesting month with very few games and a lot of practice," DeAngelis said. "The first half wasn't very good, we didn't do a very good job of executing our game plan. But when we started getting rolling, I thought we did a much better job."
Making returns to the court were sophomore center Kalei Adolpho (six points, five rebounds) and junior wing Shawna Kuehu (eight points, three boards). Adolpho returned from UH volleyball season and Kuehu shook off a concussion she suffered at the start of the season.
"It felt pretty good. It took a while to shake off the rust and get the game legs back," Kuehu said. "This game wasn't a shocker that we hadn't prepared for it. We were pretty much shaking off all the rust."
Based on practice performance, Beeman went with a new look for her starting group: Marissa Wimbley, Kanisha Bello and Stephanie Ricketts joined mainstays Ashleigh Karaitiana and Kamilah Martin. Martin scored a team-high 14 points.
The UH bench outscored HPU's 43-12, eventually overpowering a 22-point, 9-for-15 shooting outing by HPU starting forward Ieva Nagy.
UH also shared the ball exceptionally well, posting 22 assists against only 11 turnovers. Eleven Wahine scored.
The much smaller Sea Warriors came out fearless, boosting to leads of 5-2, 14-6, 19-10 and 22-11.
UH took its first lead at 25-24 on an inside hoop by Kuehu with five minutes left in the half. The Sea Warriors reclaimed the lead and took a 30-29 lead into halftime while outrebounding the Wahine 22-17.