Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Wahine face next 2
obstacles on trip

Two teams Hawaii beat at home last month look to exact a measure of revenge as the Rainbow Wahine hoopsters hit the road this week for league games against Boise State and Texas-El Paso.

The Rainbow Wahine exit a three-game homestand that was an emotional roller-coaster ride thanks to a pair of heartbreaking losses to San Jose State and Southern Methodist on both sides of the overtime upset of Western Athletic Conference powerhouse Louisiana Tech.

"There is no carryover value to the LaTech win, especially since Boise State beat them in Boise a couple of weeks ago," Hawaii coach Jim Bolla said. "We have to get back to work and get a couple of road wins, come home with some momentum and take that with us to the WAC tournament."

The Wahine jumped out to big first-half leads

against BSU and UTEP in the games here, then couldn't sustain the energy in the second half. For most of their games this season, the Wahine production has been distinctly different in the two halves.

"We need to get a lead and expand on it in the second half," said Bolla, who wants a more consistent effort from his players. "LaTech was one of those games where we had consistent play in both halves and everything fell into place."

Hawaii (9-10, 5-7 WAC) is in seventh place, one game behind Tulsa and a game and a half behind Fresno State. The Wahine would like to be higher in the standings and do it on the road, where they are 1-1 this season.

"Boise State and Texas-El Paso are behind us in the standings. These are two important games. We have to forget about Louisiana Tech" Bolla said. "We're on the road and need to play solid basketball."

Hawaii needs to protect the ball more than the last road trip when the Wahine had 26 turnovers in both games.

Bolla knows there will be turnovers with his up-tempo offense and looks at the intent of the player.

"If the idea is good, but it is executed poorly, say the overthrow of the pass on the backdoor play, I can accept that, but when they pick up their dribble and get double-teamed, that shouldn't happen," Bolla said.

Another concern is Boise State's (8-14, 3-10) ability to shoot the 3-pointer. The Broncos were 0-for-15 in the first half vs. UH Jan. 22, but made six in the second half.

"We are third in field-goal percentage defense in the WAC, but the 3s have hurt us this year. We have a tendency to react to the ball going inside and drop back to help," said Bolla. "When the other team kicks the ball back out, we don't get back in time. We have to let our post people handle the inside. They are capable of doing that."

Everything was in UH's favor the last time the teams played. Boise State was coming off an overtime loss to San Jose State, several Broncos had the flu and they didn't even practice here the day before the game.

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