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By Michael Lasquero. December 5, 2015 - 7:25 pm
The Hawaii Pacific University Men’s basketball team began PacWest Conference play with an 85-71 win over Holy Names University Thursday night at the Neal Blaisdell Center.
HPU (1-0 PacWest, 4-2 overall) was able to hold off a scrappy Hawks team that kept clawing their way back into the game to pick up its fourth straight win in nine days.
Connor Looney came off the bench to score a season-high 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field to lead the Sharks. Looney played a big role in stopping Holy Names’ momentum in the second half, scoring 17 of his game-high 22 points after the break.
Joel Fiegler picked up two quick fouls and played just 19 minutes, but was able to finish with 14 points. Fiegler converted on a three-point opportunity 19 seconds into the contest to give the Sharks an early lead they would never relinquish.
Chauncey Orr had a solid all-around performance with 13 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots in the win. Jordan Martin rounded out the HPU players scoring in double figures with 10 points.
Jonathan Cortez scored 18 points and Joshua Crum added 17 more to lead the Hawks (0-1, 1-7) in the loss.
The Sharks overcame a foul-laden first half and took a 39-31 halftime lead after making 12 of their 13 first half free throws. They finished the night going 27-for-30 at the free throw line.
Holy Names trailed by nine, 48-39, at the first media timeout in the second half, but gradually trimmed the deficit until it trailed by two, 58-56, midway through the period.
HPU countered with an 8-0 run to go up by 10 and never looked back, making its final 13 free throws to keep the Hawks at bay.
The Sharks return to the court when they take on Concordia University at the Blaisdell Center Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Photo courtesy of www.hpusharks.com.