Missed Opportunity

A scheduling anomaly had the University of Hawaii women’s basketball team playing at 8 p.m. on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center, after the men played at 5:30 p.m.

The men routed Howard 94-59 in front of a crowd announced at 4,288, which was invited to stay at no additional cost to watch the Wahine game.

Around 2,500 or so remained for the tip-off against Penn, and this was a chance for the Wahine to increase their fan base.

Unfortunately, UH got off to a terrible start, committing 10 turnovers — most unforced — in the first 10 minutes. It was the worst basketball I’ve seen the Wahine play since Laura Beeman arrived as coach four years ago. And a team with many players left from a squad that won the Big West regular-season championship last year should show better.

And it was bad timing.

With each turnover in the early-going, more fans decided to spend the rest of their Saturday evening elsewhere and left the arena. I can’t say I blame them.

Penn led by 18 at one point in the first half, and held on to win 64-54. Hawaii did eventually settle down, but it was too late. For the final score, and for a significantly larger than usual crowd it could have impressed.

The Wahine had won three consecutive games on the road coming in against the Quakers (9-2).

Beeman was asked after the game why the Wahine (7-6) seemed so flat at the start.

“I don’t know,” she said. “We have to talk about it as a team. I felt like we had really good momentum coming into tonight. I felt like the last couple practices, great intensity, great focus. I don’t know. Maybe the pressure of playing at home in front of a pretty good crowd. I wish I knew the answer. I don’t know because I felt like we were in a really great spot coming into tonight’s game.”

She allowed no excuses from the players. When they were asked if officiating made a difference in the outcome, one tried to use the “no comment” response that often implies it DID make a difference. Beaman jumped in immediately with her thoughts.

“The officiating didn’t have anything to do with it,” she said. “The fouls were pretty equal and we’re a physical basketball team. So our opportunities were there regardless of what the officiating posed for us tonight.”

It’s too bad UH didn’t play better, especially at the start. Opportunities like that to win over new fans don’t come very often.


  1. Lopati15 January 3, 2016 8:47 pm

    To much new years thats why.

  2. H-Man January 4, 2016 6:10 am

    The Wahine seem to miss easy shots under the basket. And they had a difficult time defending against Penn’s big. Where was Megan Huff?

  3. oldtimer808 January 4, 2016 8:48 am

    I don’t know if learning to use the backboard on close in shots and angle shots are part of today’s basketball players repertoire. The late UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, always preached the proper use of the backboard and had his players practice backboard shots. I hope the Wahines learn to use the backboard to their advantage and stop making cross court passes and trying to make passes over their opponents head instead of using the bounce pass properly.

  4. oldtimer808 January 4, 2016 8:51 am

    The point is if a player uses only the rim on close in shots and not the backboard than the tendency is to leave the shot short. If you don’t practice using the backboard than you will get hard hitting shots off the backboard and you see that often with the wahines.

  5. oldtimer808 January 4, 2016 8:59 am

    One of the drills is to stand under the basket and hit the backboard alternating with the right hand and then the left to develop feel. Another is to stand one to two feet from the basket and hit shots off the backboard and increase the distance after making a set number of consecutive shots made. The player can also learn to catch and shoot off the backboard from 5 feet and increase the distance. Jamaal Wilkes who played at UCLA in the early 70s is a good example of a highly skilled player who developed using the backboard which parlayed his shooting touch from outside of 15 feet.

  6. oldtimer808 January 4, 2016 9:01 am

    I know I’m old hence my screen name lol but old school fundamentals is still important in developing skill shots.

  7. chawan_cut January 4, 2016 10:26 am

    I totally agree with you there Dave. I go to both sports, and I thought, perfect! This is what the Wahine need! They had a great run last year and this was the last game heading into conference play. If they could get even half of the men’s crowd to stay and put on a decent showing, then maybe they’d win over a few fans. Walking around the concourse between games I felt like that might happen. It was much fuller than any recent Wahine game. Even tho a lot of fans were making their way to the exit doors, there were still enough lingering around. And then the 1st quarter happened and that really disappointing start. And the 2nd quarter didn’t help any. I looked at my friends and we all just shook our heads. There went the opportunity. And there went all the fans at halftime. The 2nd half looked more like a typical Wahine crowd that we’re used to sad to say. And even tho the Wahine fought back, no one was there to see it. All they will remember is the sloppy play of the first half and the low scoring, less energy output and entertainment than the men’s.

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