RAINBOW WAHINE BASKETBALL
Lady Techsters visit WAC's hottest team
The Hawaii women's basketball team plays just its second Western Athletic Conference game of the season tomorrow night and it is a big one.
The Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters were the preseason pick to win the league title. They set the standard for the league when they joined in 2001-02. They won four consecutive regular-season crowns and three WAC tournament titles before being knocked off by the now-departed Rice Owls last year.
LOUISIANA TECH AT HAWAII
When: Tomorrow, 7 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
TV: Live, KFVE, Ch. 5
Radio: Live, KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: All seats general admission. $8 adults, $6 seniors. UH students with valid ID and children ages 4-18 free
Notes: The Lady Techsters lead the series 14-1. ... The only UH victory came on Feb. 10, 2005, when the Wahine upset LaTech 79-78 in overtime on Amy Sanders basket with 7 seconds left.
This is the same team that defeated Hawaii 14 consecutive times before the Rainbow Wahine pulled out a 79-78 overtime victory a year ago.
"Everyone is excited because we have a bunch of wins in a row, but the conference title doesn't ride on this game," said Hawaii coach Jim Bolla.
"We will get a good read on whether or not we are where people think we are. This game will tell us.
"I'm sure they remember last year and we remember what happened last year. Let's just throw the ball up and play."
The Wahine (10-2, 1-0 WAC) and the Lady Techsters (10-3, 2-0) are riding eight- and five-game winning streaks, respectively.
LaTech averages 73.5 points a game, best in the WAC, and UH is second with 69.8 points a game. The teams are 1-2 in rebounding with the Wahine holding a slight edge 45.8 to 43.8. Hawaii shoots slightly better from the field, but LaTech has an edge from beyond the arc.
The teams have similar offensive styles. Both prefer to push the ball up court as quickly as possible.
"They do a lot of penetration. They are real athletic. This game could turn into a track meet," said Bolla.
"All we want to do in this game is to keep doing the things we have been doing well."
Senior guards Aarica Ray-Boyd (13.2 points a game) and Tasha Williams (12.9), the WAC preseason player of the year, are the Lady Techsters' leading scorers.
They are complemented by reigning WAC women's player of the week Ty Moore, a 6-foot-2 junior forward. She averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals per game in wins over Boise State and Idaho last week.
Hawaii counters with Amy Sanders (13.0 ppg), Janevia Taylor (12.2) and Brittany Grice (11.6). Sanders, however, is still bothered by a stomach problem that leaves her weak, so she is probable for the game.
Wahine teams have posted 499 victories all-time against 310 defeats. They are 7-2 in WAC home openers.
Tomorrow is fan appreciation night with UH basketball, football and volleyball season ticket holders receiving two free tickets to the game.