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Univ. of Idaho - Basketball

Vandal offense goes cold in Hawaii

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by Univ. of Idaho Athletics

HONOLULU, Hawai'i - Idaho had its chances, but the Vandal women couldn't get the offense going in a 62-52 road loss to Hawai'i on Wednesday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Idaho (2-13, 0-2 Western Athletic Conference) hit just 16 of its 64 shot attempts for a 25.0 percentage, while Hawai'i (7-9, 1-2 WAC) went 26-of-55 from the floor for a 47.2 percentage. Idaho grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and forced the Rainbow Wahine into 18 turnovers, but the shooting woes kept the Vandals from taking advantage of their opportunities.

"I feel like our shot selection was just horrendous this game," Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. "I thought we showed a lot of heart and a lot of hustle to get back into the game after they started with a 10-0 run. We went into halftime with a lot of momentum and I thought we could come out in the second half and carry that on."

Another slow start haunted Idaho, as the Vandals didn't make a basket until 14:37 into the game and missed 21 of their first 23 shots overall. The offense came alive late in the first, as the Vandals made seven of their final 11 shots in the last 7:14 of the period. During that time, Idaho went on a 14-3 run and took a two-point lead before settling for a 26-26 halftime tie.

The second half began much like the first, with Idaho missing from the field. The Vandals were able to get to the free-throw line and keep in game, but halfway through the period, the offense went stagnant again and UH capitalized by breaking up a 34-34 tie with a 11-4 run to go up by seven 8:19 to go.

"As a team, we just forced up a bunch of bad shots and that's why we shot 25 percent," Newlee said. "That came with forcing up shots - taking the ball into traffic and forcing up shots when people were wide open on the perimeter."

Idaho missed eight of its final 10 shots, while the Rainbow Wahine went four of six from the field and four of six from the free throw line during the same time span and extended its lead to as many as 13 points in the closing minutes.

The Rainbow Wahine, which held a strong height advantage, blocked 10 Idaho shots and out-rebounded Idaho 42-34. Idaho got to the foul line 16 times and converted those into 12 points, while Hawai'i hit six of its 11 free-throw attempts.

Sophomore Shaena Kuehu led the team with 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting, while junior Bianca Cheever added 10 points. Junior Yinka Olorunnife grabbed a season-high-tying 10 rebounds and scored seven points before fouling out late in the game.

Idaho will return home for a Saturday date with Boise State at the Cowan Spectrum. The Broncos are 11-5 overall and 0-2 in the WAC after a 64-52 road loss at Nevada last Saturday. Tip-off for that game is 7:00 p.m. (PST).

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