By BILL O’REAR
Tribune-Herald sports editor
Sisters Kamie and Kirsty Imai combined for 35 points and the University of Hawaii at Hilo rallied to beat Central Washington University 68-56 on Monday night.
The preseason women’s collegiate basketball game was played in Ellensburg, Wash. The teams play a rematch at 5 p.m. today.
The Vulcans improved to 3-4 overall. The host Wildcats fell to 4-5.
Central Washington led 33-26 at the intermission before UHH outscored the Wildcats 42-23 in the second half.
Kamie Imai, a junior, led the Vulcans with a game-high 21 points. She made 10 of 13 field goals and 1 of 2 free throws for her point total. She also had seven rebounds and four assists.
Kirsty Imai, a senior guard, added 14 points on 4 of 7 shooting, including 2 of 3 3-pointers, and 4 of 5 free throws.
“Kamie and Kirsty shot the ball well tonight, but a lot of our players contributed to the win,” UHH coach David Kaneshiro said. “I thought Jazlyn Afusia played well and Jazzmyn Davis came off the bench and gave us a lift.
“It was a nice win and a good comeback. It wasn’t the prettiest game, but I’m proud of our ladies. They hung tough and it’s a rewarding team win for us.”
Both Afusia and senior guard Natalie Mata each added eight points for the Vulcans.
Courtney Johnson led Central Washington with 18 points while teammates Leslie Stiller and Hannah Shine each added 10 points.
“They’re a good shooting team,” Kaneshiro said. “But I thought we did a good job guarding the 3-point line and took care of the ball.
“In the first half we were up and down. But in the second half we settled down and executed much better at both ends od the court.”
Kaneshiro would like to get another win tonight to close the two-game road trip.
“We can definitely use these games to help us get ready for conference play,” the UHH coach said. “We’ve been up and down in our consistency this year, so it’s a good time to start playing better at both ends of the court.”
At Ellensburg, Wash.
UHH 26 42 — 68
CWU 33 23 — 56