Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, January 11, 1999

R A I N B O W _ B A S K E T B A L L

Second-half blues
join ’Bows on road

By Pat Bigold


The University of Hawaii men's basketball team is off to an 0-2 start in the Western Athletic Conference's Pacific Division (3-11 overall) and head coach Riley Wallace is still trying get a full game out of his Rainbows.

"We just have to keep working to keep them from having that breakdown in the second half," said Wallace, whose team lost road games to Texas-El Paso on Thursday (66-53) and No. 15 New Mexico (82-59) on Saturday.

Hawaii will face Brigham Young on Saturday night to open a three-game home stand at the Stan Sheriff Center. Utah will be in next Monday and San Diego State is scheduled for Jan. 23.

The Rainbows have been infected with the second-half ills, but there's no pharmacy where Wallace can order a prescription that will cure them.

Lack of physical strength is what he has said is preventing them from doing what the 20-win teams of the past two years have done. So now he is keying on desire and effort.

Most consistently productive has been 6-8 junior forward Marquette Alexander, who scored 14 against UTEP and 18 against New Mexico.

Bryan Moeller, the 7-0 senior center who got his first career start on Saturday night at The Pit, scored eight points in the second half.

"He did better than I thought he would," said Wallace, who put Moeller in the low post against All-America candidate Kenny Thomas. "He didn't make a lot of mistakes and he was trying on defense. He didn't get the front on the kid (Thomas) but he was trying."

Moeller, who had been averaging 4.5 minutes a game, got 24 minutes against the Lobos and made four of five shots from the field. He also had two rebounds, two blocks, two steals.

"He'll get some more playing time," said Wallace.

He said 6-8 senior forward Mike Robinson "never really got focused" against New Mexico. He finished with two points in seven minutes.

Though Erin Galloway scored only two points in 16 minutes, Wallace was a little more pleased with the 6-8 senior's effort.

"He was playing harder, getting up and down the floor a little better than he had been doing," he said.

But 6-0 junior point guard Johnny White has still not lived up to expectations.

"Too many turnovers," said Wallace, "but that's a 50-50 deal, because it's the passer and catcher."

Hawaii's tendency to struggle on defense as it runs out of gas has resulted in opponents getting the better of the 'Bows at the free throw line. The Rainbows had 28 chances at the line on the road trip compared with 75 for their two opponents.

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