Lady Swords fall short in a battle against UH Hilo

Lady Swords fall short in a battle against UH Hilo

Junior forward Kennedi Akana knots the game at 59 with 34 seconds left.

The Chaminade University Women’s Basketball team proves it’s out to compete this year with a 60-59 teeth-clenching loss against University of Hawai’i Hilo. Making its home debut of the 2014-2015 season.

“When we played together everything was working,” said transfer senior Katie Buskey. “We proved that we can contend in the league this year.”

Kristle Henry, sophomore guard, led the Silverswords with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Followed by sophomore forward Lilia Maio, who made her debut since recovering from an injury with 13 points and 7 rebounds.

Senior guard, Glacen Florita put an additional 12 points on the board.

“Our goals are huge. We’re looking to win more games, not just two or three, and make playoffs,” said fifth-year coach Bobby Keanini. “We don’t want other teams to think of us as an easy win. We want to represent Chaminade well.”

In the first half, the Silverswords came out firing as Buskey sank two 3-pointers in the first half. Chaminade cruised to a 12-point lead in the first nine minutes until the Vulcans battled back, led by Kirstie Williams with 16 points.

The game was close as the two teams were tied twice in the final 67 seconds.

Down by 13 points in the second half, the Swords battled with a 10-point spurt over a 90-second stretch to turn the game into a one-possession affair.

“We have a lot of great individuals and the girls play well together,” Keanini said. “We kind of got out of it because we felt good. They tried to do too much on their own.”

The Swords executed 2 more field goals and 4 more 3-pointers, while the difference was at the free throw line.

The Vulcans led 56-53 with 1:51 minutes left. With 21 fouls from the Swords, 5 occurring in the last 99 seconds, Hilo took advantage every chance they got.

The anticipation of the crowd built, as the eagerness of the players caused the swords to foul with two seconds left. The Swords fell short when Hailey Reynolds sank one of her two free throws, and finished the game at 60-59.

Buskey expects good things for the upcoming game. “I need to lead and make better decisions, while we need to play hard for all 40 minutes of the game.”

They will reunite with UHH in the Big Island Saturday, Jan. 31.

“By the next time we play Hilo, we should be well prepared and come together like I know we can,” said Buskey. “Even though we lost, it was a learning lesson and it showed us what we need to work on for the rest of the season.”

With a 0-5 overall record and 0-1 for PacWest, the Swords are preparing for their next battle against BYU-Hawaii at 5 p.m. Saturday Dec. 6th in Laie.