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By Michael Lasquero. December 5, 2015 - 7:22 pm
The Hawaii Pacific University Women’s basketball team shook off a slow start to torch Holy Names University, 86-63 in its PacWest Conference opener at the Neal Blaisdell Center Thursday night.
HPU (1-0 PacWest, 3-4 overall) trailed 13-10 after the first quarter, but was able to outscore the Hawks in the final three quarters to snap a two-game losing streak.
The Sharks were able to pull away from Holy Names thanks to a 55.4 percent shooting clip, going 31-for-56 from the field. HPU won the rebounding battle, 38 to 24, and was able to knock down 14 of its 16 free throw attempts.
The most telling stat of the game was in bench scoring. HPU’s reserves scored 26 points while the Hawks had no bench players register a single point. Junior forward Aminata Cole led the effort with 13 points, nine of which came from the charity triple.
Sophomores Breanna Mackenzie and Jessi Reeves scored 17 points each to lead the Sharks in the win. Mackenzie also chipped in eight rebounds, four assists and two steals for a solid-all-around performance. The 17 points scored by Reeves was a season-high for the 5-foot-11 forward.
Junior post Cece Pearl also had her best game of the season and scored 16 points on 9-for-10 shooting.
Jeana Magana scored a game-high 24 points with five made treys to lead the Hawks (0-1, 1-5) in the loss.
Holy Names was able to take a 13-7 advantage in the first quarter thanks to five HPU turnovers. A Mackenzie triple would cut the Hawks’ lead to three heading into the second stanza.
Mackenzie scored the first five HPU points of the second period to help the Sharks trim the Hawks’ lead. HPU was able to take the lead for good, 24-17, thanks to an 8-0 run, and rolled to a 35-24 advantage at the break.
The second half was all HPU.
The Sharks outscored Holy Names by 12 after halftime and cruised to a 27-point victory to open up league play.
HPU will look to improve to 2-0 in PacWest Conference play when it hosts Concordia University (Calif.) Saturday afternoon at the Blaisdell Center. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m.
Statistics and photo courtesy of hpusharks.com.