Impressive Venue could mean more UH Basketball for Maui
By Wendy Osher
UH Men’s Basketball made itself home on Maui before a near-full house at the Lahaina Civic Center. The Rainbow Warriors defeated Chicago State 86-57 improving to 7-2 overall with their second straight win.
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHkHLbFpTis /]
The 2,400-seat Lahaina Civic Center is a much smaller, but more intimate setting than the 10,000-plus capacity Stan Sheriff Center on Oahu where home games are traditionally played. The venue, which also hosts the premier early season college basketball tournament, the EA Sports Maui Invitational, annually, made a nice impression on the team.
“It looks so much bigger on T.V.,” said Coach Gib Arnold of the teams’s first impression. “They recognized the mural immediately,” he said.
“I enjoyed playing in front of a new crowd, and I thought the crowd was fabulous. They were in the game and they were knowledgable, and it was a lot of fun for our guys,” said Arnold.
The possibility of a return, Arnold said the idea would be to probably rotate the yearly game between the neighbor islands, “but Maui would definitely be one of our first priorities because the Civic Center here is a great venue. But we’d probably want to get out and see if we could do it on some of the other neighbor islands as well.”
“As a University and as a staff, I think it’s important that we go out and play on the neighbor islands and get out there and let our fans come to see us live whenever they can,” said Arnold.
Just five minutes into the game, senior guard Hiram Thompson was injured when he went up for a ball and landed on his back. Freshman Bobby Miles covered for Thompson who was sidelined for the remainder of the game.
Fellow guard, Zane Johnson, meantime, scored a career high of 21 points, and added seven rebounds and four assists. Freshman guard Bo Barnes added 17 points, forward Joston Thomas put in 15 and center Douglas Kurtz racked up a career-best of 12 points.