By BILL O’REAR
Tribune-Herald sports editor
Kamie Imai scored 17 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead the University of Hawaii at Hilo to a 71-59 win over Notre Dame de Namur University on Saturday.
The Pacific West Conference women’s basketball game was played in Belmont, Calif. and was the Vulcans’ first of a four-game roadtrip along with the UHH men.
In the late game, the Argonauts edged the Vulcan men 60-57.
The UHH teams play Academy of Art University on Monday in San Francisco.
The Lady Vulcans improved to 6-6 overall and 5-3 in the PacWest. The host Argonauts fell to 3-12 and 2-7, respectively.
Imai, a senior guard/forward, also had five assists in a strong all-around performance Saturday. Junior forward MacKenzie Magino had 14 points and point guard Jordan Kealoha added 13. Sharpshooting junior Kirstie Williams chipped in with eight points, including 2 of 3 3-pointers, for UHH, which led 34-24 at the intermission.
“We came out strong and played with a lot of energy in the first half,” UHH coach David Kaneshiro said. “We shot the ball very well and were active defensively. We built about a 20-point lead in the second half, but Notre Dame had a nice comeback.
“They pulled to about six points, but we got a 3-pointer and pushed it back to nine, then held on the rest of the way.”
The Vulcans hit 25 of 29 free throws, a key factor in the win, Kaneshiro said.
UHH also outrebounded NDNU 46-34 with Imai and Magino (7 rebounds) leading the glass attack.
“I’m happy with the win,” Kaneshiro said. “They’re a good team. We had some turnovers in the second half that hurt us. We had 21 in the game, so that’s an area we’ll need to work on.”
Jasmine Waiters was the lone NDNU player in double figures, with 10 points.
“This was a nice way to start the roadtrip,” Kaneshiro said. “We had been off for a long break and I wasn’t sure how we’d come out and play. But I’m glad we showed a lot of energy and we did some good things.”
NDNU 60, UHH 57: Johnny Hutton scored 15 points, Don Washington 13 and Simon Encisco 12 to lead the Argonauts to a win over the visiting Vulcans.
James Northrup made two free throws with :10 left to give NDNU a 60-57 lead before UHH’s Darnell Williams missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game.
The host Argonauts improved to 4-11 overall and 3-6 in the PacWest. The Vulcans slipped to 3-11 and 0-8, respectively.
Junior guard Joey Rodriguez led UHH with 17 points and Yevgeniy Dyachenko added 12, the only players to reach double figures for the cold-shooting Vuls, who shot 34 percent for the game.
NDNU led 28-19 at the intermission. But the Vulcans outscored the hosts 38-32 over the final 20 minutes to make a run at their first PacWest victory this season.
The hosts hit 14 of 19 free throws compared to UHH’s 9 of 11.