Coach Jeff Law isn’t questioning the effort.
But the University of Hawaii at Hilo men’s basketball team still is searching for a lot of answers.
Devin Golston scored a game-high 25 points Saturday night to help Dominican surge to an 82-75 victory at UHH Gym, the Vulcans’ 10th loss in 11 games.
UHH (2-10, 0-4 Pacific West Conference) cooled off a bit after a hot shooting start, losing a halftime lead for the second straight game at home.
The Penguins (7-4, 3-0) beat UHH for the fourth straight time to move into a tie for second in the PacWest.
Senior guard Mychael Hearn scored 23 points, including 18 in the second half to help UHH hang around late.
“As a team we’re playing a lot better, but again the results are the same and that’s the frustrating thing,” coach Jeff Law said. “We played better and we have more to be content about. A basket here, not a turnover there or defensive rebound here and it would be a different story.
“I thought our guys played real hard. If we can bring that effort the rest of the way, that’s all I can ask the guys to do.”
Hearn (8 of 12) and 6-foot-6 senior forwards Kiel Myers (7-9, 17 points) and Mike Melonas (7-10, 16) all enjoyed stellar offensive evenings, but as a team UHH slumped after shooting 60.9 percent in the first half. Melonas grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. UHH shot 51 percent for the game.
Riding their early rhythm, the Vuls led by as many as seven in the first half and three at the break.
But just like in a 64-60 loss on Thursday against Notre Dame de Namur, their opponent made more plays down the stretch.
Dominican took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by junior guard Myles Carillo with 7:37 left, sparking an 8-0 run punctuated by Jammall Clark’s jumper.
Trailing by seven with under 3 minutes left, Hearn made a steal and Myers hit a jumper as UHH made a final charge.
Hearn’s dunk got UHH to within two with 36 seconds left, but Golston answered with a jumper and the Penguins iced the game at the line. Golston, a 6-6 junior forward and his team’s leading scorer, was 8 of 15 from the floor with six rebounds. Dominican held a slight 33-32 rebounding edge.
Clark, a 6-6 senior forward, finished with 14 points, guard Dominique Taplin added 11 and guard Ricky Wofford, finished with nine.
Senior guard CJ Brown found his way to the free-throw line and was 8 of 10 to score 10 points for UHH, but he was just 1 of 9 from the field.
Dominican was just 13 of 33 from the floor in the first half, but finished at 45.8 percent.
The Vulcans will try to salvage the three-game homestand at 7:30 p.m. Monday against Holy Names (3-8, 0-4).