RAINBOW WAHINE BASKETBALL
Wahine open tourney against Texas Tech
Hawaii is hosting the eight-team Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic that begins tomorrow. The tournament features two Associated Press Top 25 teams.
North Carolina is No. 2, UCLA is No. 21 and Hawaii's first-round opponent, Texas Tech, and Arkansas are among teams also receiving votes.
HAWAIIAN AIRLINES RAINBOW WAHINE CLASSIC
Tomorrow: North Carolina vs. Sacramento State, 11 a.m.; UCLA vs. Gonzaga, 1:10 p.m.; Arkansas vs. Denver, 3:20 p.m.; Hawaii vs. Texas Tech, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday: Loser game 1 vs. loser game 2, 9 a.m.; Texas Tech vs. Arkansas or Denver, 11:10 a.m.; Hawaii vs. Arkansas or Denver, 1:20 p.m.; Winner game 1 vs. winner game 2, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday: Seventh place, 11 a.m.; Fifth place, 1:10 p.m.; Third place, 3:20 p.m.; Championship, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Tickets: All seats general admission -- $8 adults, $6 seniors. UH students with valid ID and children ages 4-18 free
Notes: The Wahine have won four tournament titles, the last was in 1999. ... The first 300 fans will receive gifts courtesy of HAL.
The Rainbow Wahine (1-1) spent a lot of time Monday watching specific segments on video of their loss to Oklahoma last Saturday. When asked what he liked, UH coach Jim Bolla answered, "Next question."
"Our execution was very poor," Bolla said. "A lot of that was due to Oklahoma's defense. We never established a low post because physically they didn't let us get there. We tried to block out and they spun off us. When we get blocked out we have to learn to spin to the hoop.
"It was a very good teaching video."
Bolla is making two lineup changes for the tournament. Senior Janevia Taylor moves to starting point guard, while junior Saundra Cariaga takes over for Taylor at the 2 spot.
"Janevia will be full-time. This is not an experiment," Bolla said. "There are two reasons. We need a strong person at the point and Janevia hopes to continue playing in the WNBA and she wouldn't be a 2 in the WNBA.
"Saundra gives us a taller, athletic wing. She has the quickest first step on the team and is getting more confident."
Taylor is aware her first two responsibilities are to push the ball up the court and get her teammates in place.
"The point can still shoot the ball, but it is not the first choice," Bolla said.
In tomorrow's opener, the Wahine will play a very athletic Texas Tech team that will enjoy a height advantage.
Here are some are some highlights on the tournament's seven visiting teams.
» Texas Tech (3-0): All five starters are scoring in double figures, as the Lady Raiders have started the season with three victories and three different high scorers in 6-foot freshman guard Jordan Murphree, 5-10 senior Brooke Baughman and 6-3 junior center Erin Myrick. The Lady Raiders have beaten Texas-San Antonio, Houston and Texas State.
» No. 2 North Carolina (3-0): The Tar Heels, who arrived Monday, have three players scoring in double figures. They are 6-1 junior forward Rashanda McCants (14.3 points per game), 5-6 senior guard Ivory Latta (13.3 ppg) and 6-3 freshman forward Jessica Breland (13.0 ppg). Breland also averages 11 rebounds a game.
Latta is a preseason AP All-America selection, while teammate Erlana Larkins (8.3 ppg) also received votes.
North Carolina's wins are over East Tennessee State 96-35, Winston-Salem State 83-32 and Elon 90-36.
» Sacramento State (1-3): The Hornets, who beat Bethany, an NAIA school, in their opener, have lost their last three games, including an 84-43 defeat to tournament participant Gonzaga. Kim Sheehy, a 5-9 senior guard, is the leading scorer (11.8 ppg), followed by 5-6 senior guard Stephanie Cherry (10.3 ppg).
» No. 21 UCLA (2-2): The Bruins' two losses have been to No. 5 Tennessee 83-60 and to No. 3 Oklahoma 77-68 on Tuesday night. Noelle Quinn, a 6-foot senior guard who received votes on AP's preseason All-America team, scored 22 points and had seven assists against the Sooners. She is averaging 18.5 points a game.
» Gonzaga (4-1): The Zags won their first three games before losing by 10 at Montana. They defeated Portland State 76-59 en route to Honolulu. Gonzaga's leading scorers are 6-3 senior forward Stephanie Hank (14.6) and Michelle Elliott (12.4), a 5-11 junior guard.
» Arkansas (5-0): The Lady Razorbacks have outrebounded foes by an average of 11 boards a game and forced opponents into 25 turnovers an outing. Lauren Ervin, a 6-3 junior post, leads the Lady Razorbacks with 13.4 points and 10 rebounds a game.
» Denver (1-0): The Pioneers defeated Lamar 97-43 last Saturday. The 54-point difference was the biggest margin of victory over an NCAA Division I opponent in the school history. Sarah Benham, a 6-0 junior forward, led four Pioneers in double figures with 18 points.