By Mary Harvill, exclusive to West Coast Convo
Though Hawai’i traveled from the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific ocean to the Atlantic ocean, the team could not stay ahead of USF in the opening game of the Florida Gulf Coast Showcase tournament in Estero, Florida on Monday, November 24, 2014.
USF maintained the lead most of the first half until Hawaii seized the opportunity to pull ahead of USF by 1 point after a flurry of USF fouls. With 6:46 remaining in the first half, the score was 21-20 in favor of the Warriors giving Hawai’i the small lead after Roderick Bobbitt’s free throw response to Tim Derksen’s foul. Hawai’i’s Mike Thomas was able to capitalize on a technical foul by Matt Glover sinking both free throw shots.
USF went on a scoring rally after Tim Derksen hit a 3 point shot with points pouring in from Kruize Pinkins with successful free throws by Derrell Robertson. The Dons closed out the half in the lead 34-30. Surely there weren’t many aloha smiles from Hawai’i coach Gib Arnold in the locker room during halftime.
The Dons came out strong in the second half shooting 67% compared to Hawai’i’s dismal 33%. Tim Derksen finished the game with a career high of 21 points. Kruize “Double Double” Pinkins had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Matt Glover finished the evening with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Mark Tollefson’s 11 points and 8 rebounds were nice additions too.
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Aaron Valdes led Hawai’i in scoring with 18 points. Mike Thomas collected 13 points and 4 rebounds for the Rainbows before he fouled out with 1:25 remaining in the game, remarkable that he was able to play as long in the second half as he did accumulating 3 fouls during the first half. Garrett Nevels and Negus Webster-Chan added 8 points and 4 rebounds each. Issac Fleming contributed a solid 5 points and 5 rebounds.
San Francisco advances to the semi-final game in the winner’s bracket and is set to play Florida Gold Coast University Tuesday, November 25th at 5:30 pm PST. Hawai’i will go the opposite direction in the pairings and will play Marist on Tuesday at 11:30 am PST.