Men’s hoops drops Senior Night finale to HPU

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By Thomas Collins, Staff Writer

The seniors of the Chaminade basketball team took on its rival, Hawaii Pacific, for one last regular-season game before the PacWest Conference tournament.

The game, an 88-80 HPU victory, showcased amazing play by both teams who spent the night fighting hard for control of the court. The crowd was highly involved shouting and cheering as the players traded shots back and forth neither team giving an inch.

“Atmosphere was great. I loved our crowd,” said Chaminade forward Matthew Southard. “I can’t give them enough credit, they held out with us the whole game. It’s to bad we didn’t come out on top for this one.”

Hawaii Pacific won out in the end with much credit to their star senior guard Chauncey Orr tallying in with 25 points. Fellow Hawaii Pacific guard, Jordan Martin added 21 points and 7 assists.

Senior Kuany Kuany pulled in 28 points for Chaminade and Rhondell Goodwin followed closely with 22.

The game was the annual senior night celebrating Chaminade’s six senior players: Kuany, Kiran Shastri, Sam Daly, Michael Sakazaki, Goodwin and Kahanu Pu’ulei-Auld.

Daly was injured and unable to play in his senior-night game but was able to attend the ceremony afterwards announcing the six seniors and their accolades. All seniors went to center court at the announcement of their name and received a large-scale photo of themselves playing and a lei as they were recognized.

“It was a tough loss,” said Eric Bovaird, the head coach of Chaminade. “I think it would have been a different ball game if Sam Daly was able to play, but unfortunately he sprained his ankle and that really hurt us in a lot of different ways. I think he’s a big key.”

HPU led 46-37 at the half, and Chaminade struggled to get much closer in the second half. An Austin Pope layup with 2:14 to play cut the deficit to 5 points, but HPU made 7 of its last 8 free throws to seal the victory.

The Chaminade players appeared upset over their loss to longtime rival Hawaii Pacific, who also won the first matchup, 80-73, on Dec. 3. CUH has now lost four straight games to HPU. The last Swords’ victory over their rival came in February 2015.

“I would have loved to get a win for our seniors,” said sophomore guard Tyler Cartaino, who had four blocks in 12 minutes.

Despite the loss, the Silverswords remain focused on the upcoming PacWest tournament. Chaminade, the 4th seed, will be playing in the tournament in Irvine, Calif., for the first time since it won the conference title in 2014.

“We’re going to come into this conference tournament ready to go,” said Cartaino.

Chaminade will play 5th-seeded Azusa Pacific to kick off its tournament at the PacWest Championship. The game will tip off at 4:15 p.m. HST and can be streamed online.