PacWest Conference competition underway for Hawaii pod


Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones (Courtesy Hawaii-Hilo Athletics)

Competition for the PacWest Conference winter season is underway.

The conference has split up into three pods in order to limit travel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: Southern California, Northern California and Hawaii.

In the Hawaii pod, Chaminade, Hawaii-Hilo and Hawaii Pacific will each play 12-game conference schedules against each other in men’s and women’s basketball. The first rotation of those games occurred over the weekend, with Hawaii-Hilo and Hawaii Pacific playing each other while Chaminade received a bye.

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The Hawaii-Hilo men’s basketball team went 2-0 against Hawaii Pacific, while the HPU women’s basketball team went 2-0 against the Vulcans.

The Vulcans men’s team won 79-71 on Saturday and 82-77 on Sunday. Both games were played at UHH Gymnasium on the Big Island. Freshman forward Aniwaniwa Tait-Jones had standout performances in both games, scoring 21 points with nine rebounds on Saturday. On Sunday, he followed it up with a double-double of 20 points and 11 boards.

The Hawaii Pacific women’s team won both of its games against the Vulcans, running its winning streak up to 28 games.

On Saturday, four players for the Sharks scored in double digits, accounting for 56 of the team’s points in a 69-46 win. Avery Cargill and Ally Bates each had 15 points for HPU.

On Sunday, Olivia West poured in a game-high 30 points in a 69-56 win for the Sharks, who have won the PacWest for three years in a row and recently topped the conference’s preseason poll.

The PacWest Hawaii pod continues on Saturday and Sunday with a series between Hawaii Pacific and Chaminade. All four men’s and women’s games will be played at the Shark Tank but are not open to fans.

The 2021 PacWest tournament will take place from March 4-6 in Fresno, Calif.

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