By Brian McInnis
You get the feeling that Hawaii's 69-67 overtime win over Nevada last night will resonate for a while, especially if the Rainbow Warriors can follow it up with a road win at UC Davis on Saturday in the ESPNU BracketBusters event.
Though the win was terrific, the team could be without starting point guard Hiram Thompson for the rest of the season. He went down hard on his left arm early in the second half and didn't return.
His arm isn't broken, but there could be ligament damage, which would have the same effect — a season-ending injury.
Here's what I posted this morning in our breaking news section:
The Hawaii men's basketball team got some tentatively good news today regarding senior point guard Hiram Thompson, who went down early in the second half of UH's 69-67 overtime win against Nevada last night and didn't return.
UH coach Gib Arnold said this morning that Thompson's left (non-shooting) arm was not broken, as was feared last night.
However, there could be some serious ligament damage in the arm, which the team will know more about later today.
"The swelling had to go down, it's one of those deals where they had to wait and see," Arnold said. "But the x-ray did not show a break. But there's definitely some ligament damage in there, and how long (he's out) or to what extent (of the damage) we still don't know yet."
On the play, Thompson raced along the right sideline on a fast break but tripped against pressure near the baseline, bracing the fall with his left arm. He retained possession and called timeout.
Serious damage would amount to a career-ending injury this late in the season for the starting point guard, who's battled various ailments throughout his UH career.
"It was positive on what it could have been," Arnold said. "If it's torn ligaments, he's out just as long as if it were a break. But the one thing we ruled out was it's broken. I would say (I'm) cautiously optimistic.
"He felt it really good last night. I remember when it happened, he stood up and looked right at me and said, 'I'm out. You gotta take me out.' He knew pretty immediately that it was hurt."
Thompson, a tri-captain, is averaging 8.7 points and 2.6 assists per game. He's gotten effective relief of late from junior backup Miah Ostrowski. Ostrowski hit the game-winning floater in overtime last night, putting the Rainbow Warriors (14-10, 5-7) in sixth place in the Western Athletic Conference.
UH coach Gib Arnold did an ESPN live chat today, with the transcript viewable at this link.
He was candid with an optimistic tone for the future of the program, which is consistent with his message all season. He offered some insights on what the team needs to work on (i.e. turnovers) and what he's most pleased with (defense). He also mentioned the team's planned trip to China over the summer.
For the UH women's basketball fans, an FYI that today's game at New Mexico State is being televised on KFVE at 4 p.m., with NMSU's AggieVision broadcasters calling the game.
If the Rainbow Wahine (8-16, 2-9 WAC) are to end an 18-game WAC road losing streak, this seems the place they'd have to do it; their only other chance remaining this season is at first place Louisiana Tech. And NMSU has struggled of late to a 4-5 league record (though they beat the Wahine soundly in Honolulu to open the WAC season).