UH suffers record loss
Now that's cold.
The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team reached a record-low in Logan, Utah, last night. It had nothing to do with the temperature being in the single-digits.
Utah State routed the Rainbow Warriors, 98-54, in a Western Athletic Conference game at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan.
The 44-point difference represented the largest margin of defeat in a WAC game by a Hawai'i team in its 31-year history as a WAC member.
"Not much you can say after a game like that," Hawai'i head coach Bob Nash said. "They shot the lights out and we didn't have any answers."
The last time a Hawai'i team suffered a similar loss was in 1998, when it lost at TCU, 126-84.
The 'Bows dropped to 8-9 overall and 1-3 in the WAC. Utah State, the defending WAC champions, improved to 11-6 and 1-2.
Before an energetic crowd of 9,888 at the Smith Spectrum, the Aggies put on a dazzling display of teamwork and accurate shooting.
Utah State shot 61.8 percent from the field, including 73.1 percent in the decisive first half. The Aggies were especially effective from long-range, draining 11 of 16 from 3-point range for 68.8 percent.
"We were in their faces on some of those early shots, and they still hit," Nash said. "They were just red hot. I don't know if I've ever seen a team stay hot like that for a whole half like they did in the first half."
The 'Bows, meanwhile, stayed cold throughout.
Dwain Williams led Hawai'i with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Brandon Adams, making just his third start of the season, added 10 points and eight rebounds.
The 'Bows shot a season-worst 32.8 percent from the field. They also had their worst free-throw shooting game of the season, going 6 of 14 for 42.9 percent.
"We can't allow this to happen again going forward," Nash said. "We don't have control over what they do in terms of what offense they run. But we do have control of what we do as far as setting the pace with our own offense and we didn't do a good job of that. Once they started hitting their shots, we didn't play with the poise and control you need to stay with a team like Utah State."
The 'Bows fell behind 23-8 to start the game, and it got progressively worse from there.
Utah State took a 54-26 lead at intermission, thanks in part to 7-of-8 shooting from 3-point range, including a 25-footer just before the buzzer by Jared Quayle.
The Aggies then opened the second half with an 18-2 run to increase the lead to 72-28. Hawai'i never got the deficit below 40 after that, as both teams played their reserves down the stretch.
"They were well-rested and they shot the ball extremely well in their home arena," Nash said.
The Aggies' previous game was Jan. 4, so they had a full week to prepare for the 'Bows.
Hawai'i lost by 14 at Fresno State on Saturday, then had less than 48 hours to travel to Logan and prepare for the Aggies.
"We can't make excuses about the schedule," Nash said. "It's what you have to do in this league, and we didn't get it done tonight."
Hawai'i senior forward Roderick Flemings was limited to eight points on 3-of-14 shooting. He played a career-low 25 minutes, due in part to what Nash described as "some tightness in his leg."
The 'Bows also played without starting forward Petras Balocka, who sat out with a shoulder injury that he suffered in the loss at Fresno State.
"He does a lot for us in terms of his ball handling and rebounding," Nash said. "Not having him in there didn't help."
Utah State out-rebounded the 'Bows, 40-31.
The Aggies beat the 'Bows from all angles, as seven different players scored nine points or more.
Tai Wesley, Nate Bendall and Tyler Newbold led the way with 15 points each. Newbold went 5 of 5 from 3-point range.
"We have to forget about this game," Nash said. "But we can't forget about the things we were supposed to do to be in a better position in this game. We didn't come near to executing the way we wanted to on offense or defense, so we go back and work on that."
The 'Bows are now 0-3 on the road this season. They are scheduled to return to Honolulu today for a three-game homestand.
Hawai'i will host San Jose State on Sunday, then New Mexico State on Jan. 21, and Louisiana Tech on Jan. 23.
"We just have to use the time wisely and get back on track at home," Nash said. "It's a chance to get rested and try to get back some wins."