By Jeff Portnoy
The Dream of competing for the regular season championship came crashing down last night as UH lost in overtime to Irvine. That completes an 0-3 home record against the best three teams in the league. Yes Hh has beaten up on the bottom half of the league at home and on the road, but except for the miracle finish at Irvine last month, hasnt been able to defeat the teams in the top half.
Last night again exposed what has been a real problem all league season, the inability to score from the the outside. Last night, Hawaii made only 16 field goals in an overtime game, and was a woeful 4-17 from three. And when you consider that 3 of those were made by Nevels, who has been the only consistant three point shooter all year, you see how poor the rest of the team was. Spearman and Shamburger continued their inability to score from outside 5 feet by going a combined 1-9 from three and 3-17 overall.
Standhardinger had 10 first half points, going 6-6 from the line, but was a total nonfactor in the second half, not scoring until he made 2 meaningless freethrows with under 30 seconds remaining in overtime. He was 2-9 from the field as he consistently tried to challenge Irvine in the paint without any success. In fact, if Hawaii had not had a good game from the line ( 20-23), they might not have scored 40 points. Irvine did a good job keeping Fotu from going off as did in the game at Irvine ( 30 points on 13-16 shooting).
So it now looks like UH will finist in 4th place. They have a 2 game lead over Cal Poly and Northridge ( watch out for a late charge from Fullerton), and are 2 or more games behind the top three teams. UH has to go on the road after tomorrow's game against Davis ( they are bad) and play at Long Beach and Santa Barbara before finishing up against Fullerton. Moving up to third is unlikley. Also, Hawaii will have to win 2 more games to reach 20 wins, and with those two home games should be able to do that. But to be honest, the three home losses against Santa Barbara, Long Beach, and now Irvine , is a major disappointment to both the fans and I am sure the team.
By the way, in the most hyped game of the year, maybe 6000 fans showed up. Its beginning to look like folks here just are not into UH basketball. Yes , the fans that do show up are loud and supportive, But if you cant draw more than this for a game with so much riding on it, its time to ask where have the fans gone. Yes, you can use the Thursday excuse, or the pay for view excuse, or any excuse you want, but in the end its troublesome. Any answers from all of you out there?
yes these are my personal views, not those of the Regents.