Hawaii basketball: Injured players Samuta Avea, Bernardo da Silva were missed

Injured players Samuta Avea and Bernardo da Silva watched from the bench when UH played Cal State Northridge on Feb. 1. / Photo by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser

Every time you looked back at your screen on Thursday, Amadou Sow was rising up for a dunk or a layup. Occasionally even a 3-point shot.

The UC Santa Barbara big man had his way of things, shooting 12-for-13 for 30 points in a 76-66 Gauchos win over Hawaii at the Thunderdome.

While the Rainbow Warriors’ three 7-footers held down the fort at home when UH beat UCSB 70-63 at the Stan Sheriff Center, you could tell UH was lacking something in the rematch. A certain explosiveness, especially on defense.

The ongoing injury absence of the team’s two most athletic players, Samuta Avea (back) and Bernardo da Silva (foot), had finally caught up to the ‘Bows with those two missing a combined seven games. UH’s four-game winning streak was snapped.

Both are on the road with UH (14-7, 5-2 Big West); their status for Saturday night at Cal Poly (6-16, 3-5) remains to be seen. Mott Gym was a place UH was tripped up last year, and the teams’ first meeting in Honolulu this season was a grind, won 65-61 by UH.

As for the Rainbow Wahine hoopsters, they ground out a 59-46 win at Cal Poly on Thursday thanks to Amy Atwell’s 24 points off the bench on 6-for-13 3-point shooting.

The Wahine have had players shuffled in and out of their frontcourt of late, with Myrrah Joseph missing Thursday but center Lauren Rewers returning from a foot injury in a limited capacity. Freshman Kasey Neubert got her first start.

The challenge for them ramps up Saturday at UC Santa Barbara, as they face the nation’s second-leading rebounder in freshman Ila Lane (12.9 per game), who stands in the way of a five-game UH winning streak.


UPDATE: Here’s the quick writeup of the Rainbow Warriors’ 79-75 overtime loss at Cal Poly, which knocked UH back to 14-8 overall and 5-3 in the Big West. UH still has sole possession of second place at the moment. Point guard Drew Buggs had three assists to pass Troy Bowe by one and set the all-time program record at 413.

Cal Poly scored the final seven points in overtime to surge to a 79-75 basketball victory over Hawaii tonight in the Mott Athletics Center on the San Luis Obispo, Calif., campus.

The Rainbow Warriors conquered a 15-point deficit in the second half to force overtime.

The score was tied at 72 in the extra period when Justin Webster nailed a 3 with 1:02 to play. But the ’Bows would not score again.

Poly’s Jamal Smith drove, double-clutched and hit a basket while being fouled by UH’s Dawson Carper to cut the deficit to 75-74 with 41 seconds left. Smith missed the free throw, but Tuuka Jaakkola grabbed the offensive rebound.

After a timeout, the Mustangs worked the ball to Colby Rogers, who buried the go-ahead 3 with 25 seconds left.

On UH’s ensuing possession, point guard Drew Buggs was called for an offensive foul with 14 seconds to play. Eddie Stansberry nearly stole a pass, but the ball glanced off his hands before he could gain full control.

Rogers then was fouled, and he hit two free throws to seal the outcome.


UPDATE: Here’s a quick rewrite of the Wahine’s 63-51 win at UCSB, the program’s longest since the NCAA tournament season of 2015-16.

The Hawaii women’s basketball team earned its longest winning streak since the 2015-16 season — five straight — with a 63-51 win at UC Santa Barbara today.

Guard Julissa Tago scored 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting, her sixth 20-point game of the season, and center Lauren Rewers came off the bench to match her season best of 16 points.

UH (13-10, 7-3 Big West) remained in second place in the conference with six regular-season games remaining.

UCSB freshman center Ila Lane, the second-leading rebounder in the country at 12.9 per game, had 10 points and 12 rebounds by halftime and finished with 20 points and 15 boards.

After UCSB (9-13, 4-5) put up 20 points in the first quarter, UH turned the game in the second, holding the Gauchos to three points in the period. It was 26-23 at halftime.

Courtney Middap hit a running, left-handed hook shot to beat the third-quarter buzzer for a 42-35 lead.

A spurt by Tago pushed the lead back to 10 early in the fourth. The Gauchos cut it to five, but Tago kept up the onslaught. She had 11 points in the final period.

Rewers hit back-to-back 3s for a 53-44 lead with under five minutes left. UH’s 6-4 center kept popping from outside (6-for-16, 3-for-10 3s) to draw Lane away from the basket.

UH swept the difficult Central California coast road trip for the second straight year.