Hawaii beats Portland in CIT opener, USF next

March 17, 2011, 7:26 AM HST · Updated March 17, 12:20 PM
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By Fred Guzman

It does not rank with college basketball’s more established post-season tournaments, like the Big Dance or even the venerable NIT.

But after seven years of being left on the sidelines, Hawaii made the most of its opportunity Tuesday night by defeating Portland in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com tournament, advancing to a second-round home game on Saturday against the University of San Francisco.

The Dons won their opener last night, defeating visiting Idaho 81-73.

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On Tuesday, Zane Johnson scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the first half for the Bows. Point guard Miah Ostrowski scored a career-high 17, grabbed six rebounds despite being all of 5-foot-9 and dished out four assists.

Hawaii’s big boys, Bill Amis and Vander Joaquim, each registered double-doubles, Amis finishing with a line of 14 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and five steals.

Those performances, coupled with an exceptional defensive effort that limited its opponents to 35 percent shooting, resulted in Hawaii opening up a 17-point lead and cruising to a 76-64 win over Portland.

The victory before about 4,400 fans at the Stan Sheriff Center improved Hawaii’s season record to 19-12.

UH TELEVISION: Old habits die hard. Let me give you a recent example.

A buddy of ours called at just past 7 on Tuesday night. He reminded us that we had said the UH basketball game against Portland would be televised, but he couldn’t find it.

That’s because, we responded, the game was not being carried on KFVE, as has almost always been the case for televised UH sporting events for well over 20 years.

Instead, the game was aired – on time and as scheduled – on OC-16, which outbid KFVE for TV rights to the event.

We might as well get used to that change. It has become obvious that the longtime alliance between KFVE and UH has come to an end, with OC 16 – the relatively new kids on the block – taking over that role.

OC 16 is owned by Oceanic Time Warner Cable and has made its mark with local programming and local sports – particularly high school events. In 2002, the cable company entered into an agreement with the university to air pay-per-view events.

That partnership has evolved to a point that the two entities are planning to launch an all-UH channel on the cable system.

Meantime, the pay-per-view deal remains in limbo until the university can sort through the TV requirements of its new conference partners both in the Mountain West in football and the Big West in most other sports.

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