A few nights after a lackluster performace, the University of Hawaii at Hilo answered with one of its most spirted efforts of the season.
Michael Melonas scored 17 points and made all seven of his shots Monday and CJ Brown added 14 as the Vulcans beat Hawaii Pacific 78-62 in a men's basketball game at UHH Gym.
“Just having energy means so much," UHH coach Jeff Law said on the school's website. "We came out and had two good starts to two good halves. Guys hit shots and played very good defense. We executed well.”
It was a marked improvement compared to Saturday, when the Vulcans (6-17, 4-11 Pacific West Conference) lost by 18 to Point Loma.
Derek Owens scored 11 points and Lucas Swanson had 10 as UHH, spearheaded by Melonas, shot 51.9 percent to end a four-game losing streak.
“I thought the guys did a good job of doing and taking care of what they could control and getting the win tonight," Law said.
Michael Pierce led the Sea Warriors (9-13, 6-9) with 14 points. Hawaii Pacific committed 26 turnovers.
The Vulcans took control in the second half. Leading by one at the break, Swanson hit a 3 and a jumper to extend the lead, and Kiel Myers' basket gave the Vuls an eight-point lead 1:30 into the second half.
The Sea Warriors never got any closer.
Melonas and Mychael Hearn (six points) each hit two baskets as UHH went on a 13-0 run to take its largest lead, 72-50, with 3:57 left.
Brown added eight assists and four steals in 37 minutes.
Hawaii Pacific 34 28 --62
UHH 35 43 --78