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Star-Bulletin Sports


Thursday, March 8, 2001


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



UH logo


Wahine survive
mediocre outing

A 65-55 win over host Tulsa
puts Hawaii in the semifinals
of the WAC Tournament
against SMU


By Al Chase
Star-Bulletin

TULSA, Okla. -- The University of Hawaii and Southern Methodist University survived major scares in the quarterfinal round of the Williams Western Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament last night.

Both shot poorly in the first half, trailed at intermission, didn't hold a comfortable lead until late in the second half and won't play in Saturday's championship game if they have a repeat performance in tomorrow's semifinal meeting.

Still, Hawaii and SMU were able to advance. The Wahine outlasted Tulsa, 65-55, and the Lady Mustangs downed Fresno State, 61-56.


WAC WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT

At Tulsa, Okla
Yesterday
Bullet Hawaii 65, Tulsa 55
Bullet SMU 61, Fresno St. 56
Bullet TCU 74 San Jose St. 53
Bullet Rice 60, Nevada 56
Tomorow
Bullet Hawaii vs. SMU, 10:30 a.m.
Bullet Rice vs. TCU


The Wahine (22-6) ran into a Golden Hurricane (8-21) team that was fueled with the emotion of having lost top scorer Leela Farr to an ACL injury the day before. And they had the solid backing of the home crowd.

Tulsa head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller even used Becky Heidotten, not fully recovered from a foot stress fracture and limping noticeably, late in the game to stoke the emotional fires.

The Wahine had their shoot-around at 10 a.m. yesterday, and then had to kill the next eight hours in the hotel.

"No matter who we play, the first game in the tournament is always a tough one for us," UH captain Kylie Galloway said. "We were over anxious to play and got a little lethargic in the hotel. We had some individuals step up at the end, but as a team, we were mediocre."

Hawaii did battle back from a 10-point deficit with 6:23 to go in the first half to trail, 29-28, at the break, but shot just 33 percent from the field and fought to a standstill in the rebound department despite a decided height advantage.

With 6-foot Carla Morrow or 6-1 backup Kim Chiconas playing a high post at the top of the key, McConnell-Miller banked on the quickness of guards Athena Pirpich, Candice Brewer and Mia Williams to get open with sharp cuts and circle moves off picks.

The strategy was effective in the first half. If a Wahine was a step slow on defense, Tulsa's three guards popped and hit. They accounted for 25 of Tulsa's first-half points.

Hawaii head coach Vince Goo could have brought out a recording of his recent halftime talks because it was all about defense again last night. Jana Gabrielova held Pirpich to four points in the second half, April Atuaia blanked Williams and Brewer managed just two points.

With the defense working and the defensive rebounding improving, the Wahine offense began to click. They shot 64 percent from the field in the second half.

Atuaia's 3-pointer, her third of the game, with 12:19 left gave UH the lead for good, but it was another 10 minutes before the Wahine pushed the advantage into double figures and begin to sense victory.

"At halftime we told the girls we weren't a very good 3-point shooting team tonight, so let's go with the power game," Goo said.

Hawaii was 4-for-16 from beyond the arc in the first half and attempted just two 3-pointers after intermission.

The frustration of watching layups bang off the glass, rim out or draw air in the first half finally changed in the final 20 minutes. Dainora Puida, who scored a season-high 23 points, put three consecutive shots down from in close. Crystal Lee and Atuaia also made layups.

And the Wahine showed their usual proficiency at the free-throw line, converting 15 of 19 down the stretch.

"I think I was kind of nervous, especially against the host team," said Puida, who had just two first-half baskets. "I was focused to get the ball, but didn't stay focused after I got it until the second half."

Atuaia, playing all 40 minutes for the first time this season, was 4-for-5 from the field and 5-for-6 from the charity stripe. She was second in rebounds with nine -- to Puida's 10 -- and she fired the Wahine up with a midcourt steal early in the second half.

"Going into the game I had a feeling I didn't want to lose and have to go home tomorrow. All the bounces went my way tonight," Atuaia said.

"We were a little surprised they went with a 2-3 zone because they have used a press all year," Goo said. "We knew it was going to be tough to play Tulsa and it got tougher with their injury situation. Kathy always has her team come out ready to play."

The Golden Hurricane also missed Shequinna Dinkens and Denise Wagner, out with season-ending injuries.

"I knew we needed to play a great game, because Hawaii is a great team," McConnell-Miller said. "You've got to give Jana credit. They felt they had to stop Athena, and Jana denied her the ball the way she did in our two earlier games."

The UH-SMU game tomorrow starts at 10:30 a.m. HST.

In yesterday's other quarterfinals:

TCU 74, San Jose State 53:

The top-seeded Horned Frogs built an 18-point halftime lead, 39-21, and maintained it in the second half despite playing mostly reserves.

Janice Thomas and Amy Porter led TCU (22-7) with 10 points each.

Tatiana Taylor and Danada Smith paced the Spartans (13-16) with 17 points apiece.

Rice 60, Nevada 56:

Lindsey Maynard scored five of the Owls' (8-11) 10 points in overtime as No. 5 seed Rice edged No. 4 Nevada (16-13).

Rice forced overtime when Latoya Brown hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with nine seconds on the clock and Wolfpack center Kate Smith missed a layup as time expired.

Rice plays TCU in the first semifinal game tomorrow.

SMU 61, Fresno State 56:

The Lady Mustangs (17-11) did not score in the final eight minutes of the first half and didn't regain the lead until 4:14 remained when Andrea Cossey sank a 3-pointer.

Fresno State controlled the boards, 58-36, and took 68 shots, but that couldn't overcome a poor night form the field (31 percent).

D-dra Rucker, the WAC Player of the Year, led SMU with 16 points. Lindsay Logan and Tiffany Simon scored 19 and 17 points, respectively, for the Bulldogs (10-19).

Fresno St. (10-19): Paukert 1-7 3-4 5, Udeze 6-11 1-1 13, High 0-3 0-2 0, Logan 7-20 2-2 19, Simon 6-21 5-8 17, Fleming 0-0 0-0 0, Clark 1-6 0-0 2. Totals 21-68 11-17 56.

SMU (17-11): Rucker 4-11 6-8 16, Glover 0-3 0-0 0, Remke 4-5 1-1 9, Brown 3-7 3-5 10, Cossey 3-13 5-6 13, Krouch 0-0 0-0 0, Calvert 0-4 0-0 0, Ramdhanny 0-2 0-0 0, McPeters 5-7 0-0 10, Alexander 1-1 0-0 2, Patton 0-8 1-2 1. Totals 20-61 16-22 61.

Halftime--Fresno St. 30, SMU 24. 3-point goals--Fresno St. 3-14 (Paukert 0-4, Udeze 0-1, Logan 3-8, Simon 0-1). SMU 5-24 (Rucker 2-5, Brown 1-4, Cossey 2-9, Calvert 0-2, Ramdhanny 0-1, Patton 0-3). Fouled out--Fresno St. Udeze, Clark. Rebounds--Fresno St. 58 (Udeze 14), SMU 36 (McPeters 8). Assists--Fresno St. 11 (Udeze 4, Logan 4), SMU 14 (Rucker 7). Total fouls--Fresno St. 20, SMU 19.

Hawaii 65, Tulsa 55

Golden Hurricane (8-21)


fg fga ft fta reb a tp min
Williams 4 11 0 0 3 6 8 29
Brewer 4 10 0 0 1 4 8 34
Pirpich 6 11 0 1 4 4 15 39
Morrow 6 13 0 0 5 2 14 40
Chiconas 1 7 1 2 7 0 3 33
Gunn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+
Elliot 1 2 0 0 1 1 2 9
Hall 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 5
Henkelmann 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Heidotten 2 3 1 2 2 0 5 8
Team



3


Totals 24 57 2 5 27 17 55 200

Wahine (22-6)


fg fga ft fta reb a tp min
Galloway 4 8 2 4 3 4 11 40
Gabrielova 0 5 4 5 1 5 4 39
Roper 1 4 0 0 4 0 2 9
Lee 3 10 3 4 4 2 9 38
Atuaia 4 5 5 6 9 2 16 40
Brossman 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+
Gabriel 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+
Washington 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0+
Puida 7 12 8 9 10 0 23 30
Allen 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Greeny 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Team



5


Totals 19 44 22 28 36 13 65 200

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 score-Tulsa 29, Hawaii 28

3-point goals-Tulsa 5-14 (Pirpich 3-6, Morrow 2-6, Williams 0-1, Chiconas 0-1), Hawaii 5-18 (Atuaia 3-4, Galloway 1-2, Puida 1-2, Lee 0-5, Gabrielova 0-5). Personal fouls-Tulsa 16, Hawaii 8. Fouled out-None. Steals-Tulsa 10 (Morrow 4, Chiconas 3, Williams, Brewer, Pirpich), Hawaii 5 (Gabrielova 2, Lee, Atuaia, Puida). Blocked shots-Tulsa 1 (TChiconas), Hawaii 3 (Roper 2, Lee). Turnovers-Tulsa 12, Hawaii 15. Technicals-None. Officials-Ortega, Stevens, McAndrews. A-1,932.



UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii



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