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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, February 8, 2000

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

Alexander playing at his best


By Pat Bigold


Marquette Alexander's three straight double-doubles didn't earn him Western Athletic Conference player of the week honors, but his efforts sure helped Hawaii cure its rebounding deficiency.

Entering the recently completed three-game homestand, Hawaii had been out-rebounded in five of its last six games, and Alexander was averaging just over seven a game.

But against San Jose State, UTEP and Fresno State, Alexander averaged 11.6 a game as the Rainbows out-rebounded those opponents, 105-94.

Hawaii was out-rebounded, 31-30, by the Spartans, but won the war on the boards against the Miners, 29-23, and the Bulldogs, 46-40.

Alexander averaged just under 20 points in the three games as the Rainbows improved to 4-4 in the WAC and 15-6 overall.

The player of the week award only took into consideration the last two WAC games. The honor went to Fresno State's Melvin Ely, who had 39 points, grabbed 21 rebounds and blocked 11 shots in Bulldogs' wins at San Jose State and Hawaii.

Alexander leads the team in scoring (15.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.8).

Ostler confident

Troy Ostler, the Rainbows' 6-foot-9 power forward, said the team still has plenty of fight left despite last Saturday's 84-75 loss to Fresno State in which the team blew at 10-point second-half lead The Rainbows play four of their remaining six WAC games on the road.

Even without the services of now-departed reserve post player Bernard McIntosh, Ostler expressed confidence the team can regroup.

"We've been together long enough not to fall apart," he said. "The one guy we lost might hurt us a little, but I don't think it's going to be such a big problem. We're strong enough on the bench. The loss against Fresno State hurt, but we played so hard that we know now that if we keep playing that hard, not many teams are going to beat us."

Turnovers down

Hawaii cut its turnover rate to 14.6 for the homestand, but head coach Riley Wallace said the Rainbows must cut down on yielding easy baskets .

"Our help-side defense is not getting over there and doing the job," he said.

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Ka Leo O Hawaii

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