Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, January 11, 1999

W A H I N E _ B A S K E T B A L L

Wahine had
game plan, but
shots wouldn’t fall

By Al Chase


The Hawaii women's basketball team tried to climb a mountain by digging a hole first against defending Western Athletic Conference champion New Mexico on Saturday night.

The Wahine found out that doesn't work, much to the disappointment of the 2,240 fans at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Lobos became the first opponent to hold a halftime lead over Hawaii this season and made it stand for a 71-66 victory.

The scouting report showed the Lobos using a 2-3 zone on defense. The UH coaches felt there were some holes in that zone that could be exploited.

"They pack their 2-3 zone. We knew we had to hit the perimeter shots," said UH assistant coach Serenda Valdez. "If we don't hit them, they'll stay in that zone."

The Lobos did just that.

And, with the Wahine going 2-for-11 from beyond the 3-point arc in the first half, there was no reason to change.

Yet, the Wahine were getting good shots off.

"We looked at their tapes. The coaches prepared us well," said Raylene Howard, who led UH with 17 points. "We wanted to kick the ball in and kick it back out, but the shots just weren't dropping. I think we missed a lot of shots we usually make, which was disappointing for us."

Kyla Evers added: "The first three I took in the first half, I was wide open. I just didn't hit them. There are a lot of openings (in the zone). It was very frustrating."

Wahine head coach Vince Goo worked to lift the team's confidence at halftime. The Wahine got the lead down to five or fewer points on six occasions, but the Lobos always had an answer.

"We would hit a couple of shots and they'd come down and knock down a 3 or get a key offensive rebound," Howard said.

Even the Hawaii strategy of getting an opponent's top scorer in foul trouble worked but didn't. The Lobos' leading scorer, Jennifer Williams, was saddled with her fourth foul three minutes into the second half and played just nine minutes. However, UNM's bench contributed 33 points and 26 rebounds.

Miranda Sanchez, a 6-foot-1 sophomore forward who was averaging 14 minutes and 5.8 points a game, played 34 and led UNM with 17 points and had eight rebounds.

Susan Bocock, a 6-3 freshman center who played five minutes a game previously, played 25 and had 10 rebounds. She had nine entering the game.

"We're young. We're short. We lack experience. We're going to have these games," Goo said. "We've had high and lows, but we always come back."

For the Wahine, it's a case of once again having to bounce back. But next week they are on the road for the first time this season, at Brigham Young on Thursday and Utah on Sunday.

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