Chris Gerlufsen’s first words to reporters after Hawaii’s 83-75 victory over Portland State on Friday indicated that UH’s win was hard-earned.
“Nothing is easy,” Gerlufsen said as he looked at the box score, and then the cameras. “We knew it was gonna be a 40-minute dogfight.”
The Vikings apply relentless pressure, and sometimes it worked, forcing UH turnovers. Hawaii gave Portland State a lot of chances — first and second chances. But the Vikings didn’t take advantage of enough of them to offset the torrid shooting of the Rainbow Warriors.
Eddie Stansberry led the way with a career-high 28 points, and UH improved to 3-1 as the ‘Bows head to play at Illinois on Monday.
“We turned them over 18 times, I’m sure they didn’t want that,” Portland State coach Barret Peery said. “And we got to the offensive glass 17 times, but we just weren’t able to put it in the hole when we really, really needed it.”
UH pulled away slowly, never trailing in the second half. Methodical — and hot — shooting won out over frenzy and chaos that Portland State tried to create.
PSU matched Hawaii’s 16 points off of turnovers, and outscored UH 19-8 on second-chance points.
But when Hawaii did break the Vikings press they usually got open looks and capitalized on them — including 55% from 3-point country (11-of-20). PSU, meanwhile, shot just 39.1%
“The shots I was getting were pretty much from inside-out,” said Stansberry, who made his first six attempts from beyond the arc. “I didn’t have to create.”
Gerlufsen said Stansberry’s game is becoming more versatile, though.
“He’s playing at a really high level,” Gerlufsen said. “He’s starting to score in different ways now, too.”
Gerlufsen was pleased with the Rainbows unselfishness, pointing out their 19 assists on 30 made field goals.