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Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, January 24, 2000

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

Solving turnovers
a key for Wahine

By Al Chase


Once Hawaii shucked its turnover problems, the Wahine were able to turn aside a Tulsa upset bid Saturday night before the largest (1,438) crowd of the season at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Golden Hurricane, picked to finish seventh in the Western Athletic Conference coaches preseason poll, demonstrated they are contenders, not pretenders for the league title.

"They are in the upper half of the league. They don't have a lot of height, but are a veteran team," Hawaii head coach Vince Goo said. "They played very smart, extremely intelligent basketball."

One thing is evident from last week's two home games. The Wahine will have to play more intelligently when they travel to Rice and Tulsa if they hope to catch conference leader Southern Methodist.

The Wahine were charged with 13 first-half turnovers against Tulsa, but shot 46 percent from the field to stay close, trailing, 34-31, at halftime.

Hawaii had limited success stopping Tulsa forward Lila Osceola (24 points) with height (Dainora Puida or Christen Roper) and was getting little offense at the wing from from either Kate McMeeken-Ruscoe or Crystal Lee.

So, Goo put Maj Forsberg in at point guard, moved Kyla Evers to off guard and Raylene Howard to the wing. Hedy Liu took on the responsibility of stopping Osceola.

"Maj is true point guard and Kyla has played off guard before," Goo said.

"We needed to get some offense and people to break their press. Hedy did a good job in the first half, did a good job in the second half, so we stayed with her."

Evers responded with a season-high 18 points and Liu tied her season high with 13 points.

Raylene Howard led UH with 19 points, while Kylie Galloway had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"They will kick us if we play this way on the road," Howard said.

"There is lots of potential there and room for improvement. It's a matter of us getting better week after week."

The Wahine took the lead (61-59) for good with 4:29 left when Forsberg grabbed a loose ball and outran two Tulsa defenders the length of the court for a layup.

A driving baseline layup by Evers gave UH a 66-61 lead with 42 seconds to play.

But the 68-63 victory wasn't secure until Liu cleared her seventh rebound with 11 seconds remaining and fed Galloway for an uncontested layup.

Hawaii plays just one game this week, traveling to San Jose State for a Saturday matchup with the Spartans (2-14 overall, 0-4 WAC).

WAC women

		Conference		Overall
		W	L	Pct.	W	L	Pct.
So. Methodist	4	0	1.000	11	5	.688
Hawaii		4	1	.800	12	5	.706
Tulsa		3	1	.750	7	9	.438
Texas Christian	2	3	.400	11	9	.550
Rice		1	2	.333	9	6	.600
Fresno St.	1	2	.333	8	9	.471
Texas-El Paso	1	3	.250	4	12	.250
San Jose St.	0	4	.000	2	14	.125
Saturday's results

Hawaii 68 , Tulsa 63
Rice 86, San Jose State 62
Southern Methodist 86, Fresno State 50
Texas Christian 66, Texas-El Paso 59

Thursday's games

Fresno State at Rice
Texas-El Paso at Tulsa

Saturday's games

Hawaii at San Jose State
Texas Christian at Southern Methodist
Fresno State at Tulsa
Texas-El Paso at Rice

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