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Monday, December 16, 2002


[ WAHINE BASKETBALL ]



art
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Amy Sanders drove against UNLV's Sheena Moore and InFini Robinson in the Rainbow Wahine's win last night.




Hawaii outruns
UNLV to win
invitational

The Rainbow Wahine survive
a barrage in the last 3 minutes
to beat the Lady Rebels


By Al Chase
achase@starbulletin.com

The UNLV Lady Rebels defiantly danced a jig on the H at center circle, delaying Hawaii's player introductions before last night's game. However, it was the Wahine who waltzed off with the Hawaii Invitational championship.

In a tightly contested game, the Wahine relied on a 14-5 run late in the second half to defeat UNLV 71-66 before a crowd of 563 at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Lady Rebels (5-2) took the last of three one-point, second half leads, 45-44, on a trey by Constance Jinks with 10:05 to play. Six minutes later, the Wahine had built a 61-50 advantage that was big enough to withstand a hectic finish in which UNLV fired 12 shots in the final three minutes.

UH coach Vince Goo gave his take on the offensive spurt.

"We weren't even trying to play up the floor quickly. We aren't able to run all night," Goo said. "What we wanted to do was play defense, box out, get the long rebounds and limit their second-shot opportunities. We had worked on that all last week."

During that stretch, the Lady Rebels made just 2 of 7 field goal attempts and got no second shots after misses.

"We knew we had to stop them on defense. We usually get comments from our opponents about how disciplined we are on defense," said UH center and tournament co-MVP Christen Roper .

"When you play disciplined defense and slow teams down, teams like UNLV don't like to be slowed down. They like to run and when they can't, they are all thumbs," said Natasja Allen, who shared MVP honors.

"Defense wins games, and we don't have a dominant player who scores a lot of points every game, so we have to have broader distribution on offense."

art
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Michelle Gabriel shot over UNLV's Sheena Moore last night as the Rainbow Wahine won 71-66.




Allen and Jade Abele, an all-tournament team member, each scored 17 points. Roper had 12 and Michelle Gabriel hit double figures for the first time in her UH (5-2) career by scoring 13 points. Abele also dished out seven of Hawaii's 16 assists.

This was a good example of the Wahine picking up the slack for UH's leading scorer, April Atuaia, who was bothered by a stomach virus before the game. She scored just four points, but hustled her way to nine rebounds, tying Allen for the team high.

The opening half began as an exercise in missed opportunities. UNLV did not score for six-plus minutes, and UH wasn't much better with just three buckets. After 10 minutes, UH led 14-10.

Then the field-goals began to fall and the Lady Rebels pulled within two points on three occasions toward the end of the half, but the Wahine kept responding at the offensive end and took a 31-27 lead into the half.

UNLV hit 32 percent from the floor in the first half, and Hawaii made 44 percent of its field-goal attempts. The Lady Rebels improved to 40 percent for the game, while UH finished at 50 percent from the floor.

"These two games (the Rainbow Wahine beat Kentucky 70-59 on Saturday) were a good test for us. UNLV is a quick team that pressures you and we handled that," said Goo. "I thought Milia (Macfarlane) gave us some good minutes in the second half when Michelle (Gabriel) had trouble with her composure. We gave Michelle a rest and she came back and played well."

Kentucky 72, Long Island 64: The Wildcats (3-4) rallied from a 13-point deficit with 4:03 left in the first half and overtook the Blackbirds (0-7) in the second half as Jenny Pfeiffer pumped in 24 points and Jennifer Humphrey added 19. The victory in the third-place game ended Kentucky's four-game losing streak.

The Blackbirds had success early from beyond the arc, connecting on eight of 16 3-pointers for a 29-16 lead, but Kentucky closed the half with a 15-2 run to trail 33-31. SeSe Helm made two free throws early in the second half to give the Wildcats a lead they never lost.

Amber Wirth led LIU with 21 points, while Tamike Dudley contributed 17.

HAWAII 71, UNLV 66

LADY REBELS (5-2)

fg fga ft fta min reb a tp

Moore 4 11 1 2 22 0 1 11

Clark 1 2 2 2 12 0 1 5

Gray 5 7 0 0 31 2 3 14

Jinks 7 24 0 0 28 6 4 15

Mitchell 0 3 0 0 16 3 0 0

Robinson 1 3 0 0 11 1 0 3

Strong 3 4 0 0 24 2 1 6

McCracklin, S. 3 7 1 5 24 7 0 7

McCracklin, D. 2 4 1 2 32 9 0 5

Team 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

Totals 26 65 5 11 200 31 10 66

RAINBOW WAHINE (5-2)

fg fga ft fta min reb a tp

Abele 5 11 6 9 36 5 7 17

Macfarlane 0 1 4 6 8 0 0 4

Roper 5 6 2 2 34 6 0 12

Gabriel 4 8 5 5 32 3 1 13

Sanders 0 2 0 0 11 3 0 0

Atuaia 1 6 2 3 33 9 4 4

Allen 7 10 3 4 39 9 3 17

Spooner 1 2 2 2 7 0 1 4

Team 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0

Totals 23 46 24 31 200 38 16 71

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 31, UNLV 27

3-point goals -- UNLV9-17 (Gray 4-4, Moore 2-7, Clark 1-2, Jinks 1-2, Robinson 1-2), Hawaii 1-9 (Abele 1-5, Macfarlane 0-1, Gabriel 0-1, Sanders 0-1, Atuaia 0-1). Personal fouls -- UNLV 23, Hawaii 10. Technical fouls -- none. Steals -- UNLV 6 (Gray 3, Jinks 2, D. McCracklin), Hawaii 5 (Gabriel 2, Atuaia 2, Roper). Blocked shots -- UNLV 2 (Strong 2), Hawaii 6 (Roper 3, Allen 2, Abele). Turnovers -- UNLV 12, Hawaii 17. Officials -- Ryan Wells, Pat Tanibe, Todd Apo. A -- 563.



UH Athletics



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