RAINBOW WAHINE BASKETBALL
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Amy Sanders drove around Kent State's Kacie Vavrek in Wednesday's game at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Wahine, Flashes to play rematch
The Hawaii women's basketball team is off to its best start in five seasons with an 8-2 record, a mark that matches the 2001-02 squad's start.
The Rainbow Wahine play Kent State tonight in a rematch of Wednesday's game, won by UH 61-55 in a tense, fast-paced encounter.
KENT STATE AT HAWAII
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Radio: Live on KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: All seats general admission. $7 adults, $5 seniors. UH students with valid ID and children ages 4-18 free
This is the second time Hawaii has been in a back-to-back situation this season.
The Wahine do not expect the same scenario they experienced in two games against Campbell before Christmas when they squeaked by in the first game, then cruised in the second meeting.
The Golden Flashes (7-3), who arrived late the night before Wednesday's game because of flight delays, were without third-leading scorer Rachel Bennett, who was ill, and had two players suffer leg cramps late in the game.
Their availability won't be known until game time.
On the plus side, Kent State received a team-high 17 points from Sarah Burgess, who had played just one game previously and was not on the scouting report, according to UH senior Amy Sanders.
The Golden Flashes, a quick, athletic team, have had two days to get rested and update their scouting report on UH.
The Wahine worked on their offensive execution and spacing in practice yesterday.
"Those were two big issues. We weren't in the right spots at the right time and that helped their defense," UH coach Jim Bolla said. "We need to use both sides of the floor and hopefully take advantage of a defensive lapse. This has happened before. We'll keep working on it."
The Wahine also missed numerous layups, especially in the last 10 minutes of the second half when their shooting percentage, at .500 with 11:51 to go, dropped to .324 at game's end.
"We put some incentives in for people missing layups. It's a team thing with plusses and minuses. Hopefully they will come out on the plus side," said Bolla. "I also reminded them that we don't need to make it a habit of getting down early."
Hawaii trailed 20-8 before starting a comeback.
"There will come a time where we use too much energy coming back and we won't be able to finish," Bolla said.
The Wahine also watched video of Wednesday's game to see the new options the Golden Flashes had installed and to pick up on some of the tendencies of their players.
"Early on we had no-help defense, in part because of their quickness and in part because of us not being in position," said Bolla. "We did a much better job in the second half."
Tonight's game concludes the nonconference portion of Hawaii schedule.
The Wahine begin Western Athletic Conference play next Thursday at Nevada.