3-pointers missing from UH's offense
By Ferd Lewis
When the University of Hawai'i's Adhar Mayen hit a 3-point shot with 14 minutes, 59 seconds remaining in the second half last night, the Stan Sheriff Center crowd cheered.
Perhaps the assembled 3,609 would have really rocked the place had they known it would be the only successful 3-pointer they'd witness from the Rainbow Warriors the rest of the game.
Because making a 3-pointer took on all the complexity of splitting the atom for them on a 2-of-16 shooting night from long range, the 'Bows dropped their Western Athletic Conference opener to Idaho, 59-52 — and dropped it hard.
Holding the Vandals 15 points below their average was a prideful accomplishment for UH. The 'Bows falling 22 points below their own average, however, wasn't going to get the job done. And did as they lost their fourth consecutive conference opener.
Missing the front end of three consecutive one-and-one free-throw situations was one thing, but what really sunk the 'Bows to 7-7 (0-1 WAC) was their inability to hit 3-pointers. UH missed 10 of its 11 second-half 3-point attempts, including four in a row in the span of 23 seconds in a telltale closing stretch.
Because of that, opening night looked a lot like the last WAC season as a whole for the 'Bows, who were the worst 3-point shooting team in 2008-09.
They managed just 28.3 percent shooting from the 3-point mark last year and even that would have been enough to deliver a victory on a night when UH shot a meager 12.5 percent for the game against Idaho.
The addition of guards Dwain Williams and Jeremy Lay was supposed to improve the long-range shooting prospects for UH, which was 333rd among 343 NCAA Division I teams shooting the 3 last season. And, for the most part this season it had in 33 percent pre-WAC shooting.
But when it was time to get down to business in the WAC — where opponents come packing detailed scouting reports, when the defensive pressure gets the most intense and play becomes more physical — the 'Bows couldn't get it done. "Our guys have to realize just how physical this conference is," coach Bob Nash said.
Williams, coming off an 84-point stretch over the previous three games, was an uncharacteristic 1-of-10 overall and 0-of-5 from 3-point range. Lay was 0-for-1.
"Dwain is not going to go 1-for-10 every night," said Nash. True. But when he does there needs to be someone to pick up the slack. Throw in a combined 2-of-9 from Hiram Thompson and Mayen, plus Petras Balocka being banished to the bench after an 0-of-3 shooting start, and it wasn't hard to see why the 'Bows were the only home team in the WAC to lose last night.