UH-Hilo got exposed, just like men’s basketball coach GE Coleman wanted the Vulcans to.
Despite Trey Ingram’s game-high 14 points, Hawaii dominated with its inside game and coasted to an 82-64 in what was an exhibition game for the Vulcans in front of just more than 5,000 fans at Honolulu’s Stan Sherrif Center.
Forward Mike Thomas and guard Drew Buggs each scored 13 points for the Rainbow Warriors (6-2), which improved to 10-0 all-time against its cross-state and cross-division foe.
UHH was outscored in the paint 38-18 and outrebounded 41-29.
This was the team’s sixth meeting in seven years, and Hawaii entered having won the previous five by an average margin of 26.4 points.
“It’s been good for our program. Not so much the scoreboard,” Coleman told Tribune News Service before the game. “But it’s a good experience for the kids.
“The Rainbows are going to exploit our weaknesses. For us, that’s a good thing.”
The Vuls did manage to outscore Hawaii in the second half. Denyhm Brooke added 10 points, three blocked shots and three rebounds for UHH, which will be back on Oahu Dec. 16 to face Chaminade.
Sarah Toeaina’s finest effort went for naught.
The Hawaii senior captain scored seven of her career-high 27 points in overtime, but the Rainbow Wahine fell 64-62 to Idaho State at Stan Sheriff Center on Friday night.
UH (5-4) capped its seven-game homestand with a tough defeat, as ISU (6-3) scored the first six points of the extra period and held on tight. Friday was the third time in the homestand Toeaina scored 20 or more, including a personal-best-tying 25 in a win over Montana State on Monday.
“I would turn in everything that went into the basket tonight just for a W,” Toeaina said. “Or something that helped spark our team offensively and defensively. Definitely wanted a win tonight.”
She was dominant in shooting 9-for-14 from the field — all from mid- to close range — and 9-for-11 at the line. But she didn’t have a lot of help. After Lahni Salanoa’s 13 points off the bench, no other Wahine player scored more than seven.
Point guard Tia Kanoa had a chance to win it for UH at the end of regulation, but her contested mid-range jumper from the right wing was short.
Julissa Tago picked up two quick fouls and sat the rest of the first half. UH’s second- leading scorer finished scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting.
The rebounding disparity — 44-32 in favor of the Big Sky team — was amplified by 16 offensive rebounds for the Bengals to UH’s eight. Forward Sai Tapasa (17 points, 13 rebounds) snared two in the final seconds on missed Bengals free throws, extinguishing whatever hopes UH had. Guard Brooke Blair scored a team-high 20 for ISU.
“We let one get away. We had too many defensive mishaps and way too many offensive boards (allowed) … at really, really key times,” UH coach Laura Beeman said.
UH trailed from the second quarter on, but made up a nine-point fourth- quarter deficit, tying it up at 52 on Kenna Woodfolk’s post move with 1:20 remaining. Both teams squandered chances late in regulation.
“Down the stretch we put ourselves in a really good position,” Beeman said. “I’m not surprised when this team comes back. We’re very, very resilient. … (But) I think we had some really good looks and didn’t take shots down the stretch.
“Hopefully we learn from that.”
Now the Wahine prepare to play at Arizona on Dec. 17, followed by games vs. Texas A&M and Oregon in Las Vegas.
Salanoa came off the bench a game after exiting late against Montana State with a foot injury. Her twin, Leah, started in her stead and scored seven.
“It was a little different coming off the bench, but I didn’t let it bother me,” Salanoa said.
Woodfolk (seven points, nine rebounds, three blocks) returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench the previous three games in favor of center Lauren Rewers.
– Brian McInnis
Tribune News Service