Friday, December 21, 2001
[ UH BASKETBALL ]
Bows counting on Canadians
By Cindy Luis
That's what the Hawaii basketball team is hoping for in tonight's Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic semifinal against Iona.
Canadian Phil Martin had one of his better games of the season -- 12 points and 10 rebounds -- in the Rainbows' win over Portland on Wednesday. But his fellow countryman Carl English, UH's leading scorer, didn't hit a shot until there was 10 minutes left in the game.
"As long as we win, it doesn't matter if I score 20 or 2," English said after yesterday's practice.
Hawaii (7-2) takes on Iona (3-6) in tonight's second semifinal.
Yesterday's workout went well, but English stayed after practice to work on his shot.
Coach Riley Wallace hopes that extra effort will carry over against the Gaels.
"If we ever get Carl and Phil both going at the same time, it will be fun to watch," said Wallace. "Iona will be a test. It's your typical East Coast team, very athletic and they run and jump well.
"They maybe don't have as many good shooters, but they really get into it defensively. And they're playing well right now, like they thought they would be from the beginning of the season."
Iona is expected to defend its Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title and is 2-0 in league play already. Prior to opening MAAC play, the Gaels lost their first six.
Iona coach Jeff Ruland said his young team finally started paying attention to what the coaching staff was saying. He's sure to have their attention today.
"I don't know much about Hawaii except that they are talented," said Ruland.
A key matchup will be between the point guards -- Hawaii's Mark Campbell and Iona's Maceo Wofford. Wofford likes to score, while Campbell prefers to pass.
Defense will also be a key. Whichever team can do the better job of outside shooting should prevail. For the Rainbows, it will be containing 6-foot-9 junior swingman Courtney Fields and 6-2 senior guard Leland Norris. For the Gaels, Savovic, who hit four 3-pointers against Portland, and English will present the most problems.
"We've got to play better defense down the stretch," said Wallace. "It seems that when a team turns it up a notch, we don't answer the call.
"We get a lead and can't put anyone away."
Both of Hawaii's losses came after having a substantial lead early in the second half.
The Rainbows will also have to do a better job at the free throw line. They were 13 of 23 Wednesday; on the year, they've hit 133 of 207 (64 percent).
Iona's aggressive defense has led to a discrepancy at the free-throw line. The Gaels' foes have gone to the line 281 times compared to Iona's 204.
"We're a good free-throw shooting team but haven't shown it," said Wallace. "That's mental. We have to be better prepared mentally."
Ka Leo O Hawaii