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Star-Bulletin Sports


Friday, February 2, 2001


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




By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Hawaii's Phil Martin shoots over Fresno State's Melvin Ely
during last night's game. UH beat the 19th-ranked Bulldogs.



Hawaii bullish
on Fresno State

Puida, Burneika and Savovic
lead the way as the Rainbows
buck Tarkanian's
19th-ranked Bulldogs


By Dave Reardon
Star-Bulletin

Mindaugas Burneika was worth better than a point a minute off the bench.

Predrag Savovic's defensive effort finally matched his explosive offense.

They got the most attention after Hawaii's shocking 91-73 victory over No. 19 Fresno State last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

UH Burneika scored a career-high 27 points in 26 minutes and Savovic poured in 26 and shackled the Bulldogs' leading scorer, Chris Jefferies, allowing him only three points.

"But if you're talking MVP, you've got to talk about Nerijus (Puida)," Rainbows coach Riley Wallace said.

Puida scored only seven points. But his game-high 10 rebounds, 11 assists, as well as good defense on FSU's highly touted Tito Maddox and calm leadership down the stretch allowed the Rainbows to pull off their biggest win of the season.

"I'm upset," Puida told a reporter after the game, acting like it bothered him that he wasn't summoned to the post-game news conference.

The joke is that everybody knows the soft-spoken senior forward doesn't care about that kind of stuff, just like he doesn't care about how many points he scores.

What Puida does care about is playing the game the right way. So he was all smiles last night, as the Rainbows (9-10, 3-5) won largely due to execution after road losses at Rice and Tulsa.

"We showed we have some character," he said. "We didn't feel down. We played well at Tulsa even though we didn't win.

"This team will never stay down."

The Rainbows are still among the WAC's bottom-feeders at 3-5, but they host last-place Nevada (8-11, 1-7) on Saturday.

Then it's just two more games before the cavalry arrives in the form of center Haim Shimonovich, who will finally become eligible for the Feb. 15 SMU game.


By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Hawaii's Predrag Savovic sails past Fresno State's
Shannon Swillis on his way to the hoop.



One of those games between now and then is a visit to Fresno State (17-3, 6-1) for a nationally televised rematch on Feb. 11.

Before worrying about all that, though, the Rainbows want to savor last night's win.

"I don't rank victories, but this is definitely big," Wallace said. "We needed something like this because we've fallen behind in the WAC."

The Rainbows never trailed last night, jumping to a 7-0 lead on a 3-pointer by Puida and a reverse layup and slam by Troy Ostler.

"We were just horrible to start the game," FSU coach Jerry Tarkanian said. "We played terrible and they played great. They outhustled us."

Hawaii shot a net-ripping 10-of-14 on 3-pointers, with Savovic making 5-of-6 and Burneika hitting on all three of his attempts.

The Rainbows also dominated the boards, 42-30.

"We just played together for 40 minutes," Savovic said. "This is the first time this year we did what the coaches told us."

Still, there were some anxious second-half moments, especially as FSU put together a 14-0 run that brought it to 65-55 with 7:24 left.

But with five points each, Burneika and Savovic keyed a 13-8 spurt that put Hawaii back in control at 78-63 with 3:33 left.

Hawaii made 12 of its 22 turnovers in the second half, but Puida's court sense helped settle down the Rainbows and they weathered the Bulldogs' press.

Hawaii 91, No. 19 Fresno State 73

Bulldogs (17-3, 6-1 WAC)


fg fga ft fta min reb a tp
Jefferies 1 7 1 2 27 0 1 3
Maddox 7 15 3 5 34 6 7 20
Swillis 3 4 4 5 25 5 1 10
Porter 3 14 5 5 31 2 2 13
Ely 7 12 1 2 35 6 2 15
Jackson 1 4 0 0 8 1 0 2
Felix 2 3 0 0 12 1 1 4
Irvin 0 1 0 0 6 1 1 0
DeManby 2 6 0 0 17 0 3 6
Al-Sayyad 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 0
Team 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0
Totals 26 66 14 19 200 30 18 73

Rainbows (9-10, 3-5 WAC)


fg fga ft fta min reb a tp
Savovic 9 14 3 4 40- 5 5 26
Martin 6 13 0 0 24 6 0 12
Hilton 1 4 4 5 30 2 1 7
Puida 3 8 1 2 36 10 11 7
Ostler 4 8 0 1 27 7 3 8
McIntyre 2 3 0 0 11 1 2 4
Takaki 0 0 0 0 0+ 0 0 0
Terrell 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Burneika 9 12 6 9 26 7 3 27
English 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
O’Connor 0 0 0 0 0+ 1 0 0
Fields 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0
Team 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0
Totals 34 62 13 19 200 42 25 91

Key--fg: field goals; fga: field goals attempted; ft: free throws; fta: free throws attempted; min: minutes; reb: rebounds; a: assists; tp: total points.

Halftime-Hawaii 43, Fresno State 32.

3-point goals--FSU 7-29 (Maddox 3-7, DeManby 2-5, Porter 2-11, Jackson 0-2, Jefferies 0-4); UH 10-14 (Savovic 5-6, Burneika 3-3, Hilton 1-2, Puida 1-2, McIntyre 0-1).

Personal fouls--FSU 17, UH 17. Fouled out--None. Technical fouls-None. Steals--FSU 8 (Porter 3, DeManby 2, Jefferies, Maddox, Ely), UH 10 (Savovic 5, Hilton 2, Puida 2, Ostler).

Blocked shots--FSU 4 (Ely 2, Swillis, Felix), UH 1 (Ostler). Turnovers--FSU 19 (Maddox 9, Ely 5, Porter 3, Jefferies, Swillis), UH 22 (Hilton 7, Martin 4, Savovic 2, Puida 2, McIntyre 2, Burneika 2, Ostler, Terrell, Team).

Officials--White, Jacobs, Kaster. A-6,249 (tickets distributed), 4,126 (turnstile).



UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii



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