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Lady Vulcans surprise Cougars at home


Kirstie Williams scored 22 points, hitting 7 of 10 3-pointers, to spark the University of Hawaii at Hilo to a 78-73 win over Azusa Pacific University on Monday night.

The Pacific West Conference women’s basketball game was held in Azusa, Calif. The UHH men played the host Cougars in the nightcap, which ended after the Tribune-Herald’s deadline.

“It’s a great win for us,” UHH women’s coach David Kaneshiro said. “Coming into the game, Azusa Pacific was in first or second place, and it took a huge effort for us to come here and win on their home court.

“I’m really proud of our players. They put together a great game and refused to lose.”

Williams, who earlier on the three-game road trip had another 7 for 10 shooting performance on 3-pointers, found her stroke against the Cougars (16-7 overall, 14-3 PacWest).

“They played a zone and we were able to move the ball around and get it to Kirstie and our other open shooters,” Kaneshiro said. “I thought McKenzie (Mangino) and Kamie (Imai) did a terrific job in the middle against the zone and found our shooters.”

Mangino, a 5-foot-10 junior center, finished with 16 poinst to follow the hot-handed Williams, a 5-6 junior guard.

“McKenzie played well, and so did Kamie,” Kaneshiro said. “It took a really good team effort to get this win and end our losing streak. We hope to carry this confidence over into our upcoming homestand.”

Junior guard Whitney Edens added 11 points for visiting UHH.

The Vulcans (7-13, 6-10) also made 14 of 14 free throws — “And we needed every one of them,” Kaneshiro added.

Sendy Valles led Azusa Pacific with 32 points, including three treys. Kelly Hardeman had 12 and Katie Powell 10 for the hosts.

Final homestand

The UHH teams now return to Hilo to finish their conference season with four home games — Thursday vs. Holy Names University; Feb. 24 vs. Notre Dame de Namur; Feb. 27 vs. Fresno Pacific; and March 1 vs. Hawaii Pacific University.

UHH 29 49 — 78

APU 32 41 — 73


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