Rainbow Wahine hoping to ride new lineup
What will it take for the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine to win consecutive Western Athletic Conference basketball games?
Nevada at Hawaii
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: All seats general admission. $8 adults, $6 seniors. UH students with ID and children 4-18 free.
The last time Hawaii won back-to-back games was in nonconference action on Nov. 26 and Dec. 5.
The Wahine (8-12 overall, 2-6 WAC) are back in the islands for a one-game homestand against Nevada after beating Utah State with a retooled lineup last Saturday.
UH coach Jim Bolla made three changes in his starting five in that victory. Amy Kotani started at point guard for the first time since Nov. 18. Megan Tinnin made her first start at shooting guard and Brittany Grice returned to start at the center position.
Bolla will keep the new lineup intact tonight.
"We needed a point guard who could put people in the right position and think about scoring last. Amy gave us that," Bolla said.
"Saundra (Cariaga) had been in a slump the last couple of games. Megan got the opportunity and answered the bell (17 points). We weren't getting production from Iwona (Zagrobelna) and she got sick. Brittany went back in and helped (eight rebounds).
"We hope this helps us get something going."
Tanya Smith and Pam Tambini, who has played 226 consecutive minutes, have been the most consistent Wahine players and the only two to start all 20 games. In WAC games, Smith is averaging 17.0 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, while Tambini checks in with 11.9 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.
This lineup gives Bolla more flexibility on when and where to use guard Janevia Taylor, who has struggled a bit in conference games. Her overall scoring average is 10.6 ppg, but only 7.6 in the WAC.
Against the Wolf Pack (12-9, 6-2) in the January game, the Wahine committed 33 turnovers and a number of those mistakes came trying to handle Nevada's press.
"We have seven options to break a press and we have to use all of them. In watching film it looks like the player inbounding the ball decided on an option whether it was available or not," Bolla said.
"We're trying to teach the players to have a better read and to have the guards break hard to get open. I want teams to press us and then make them pay. You look at the press as an opportunity to get a quick layup. That's the way to have the other team call off the press."
The Wolf Pack had their five-game winning streak halted Thursday night when Louisiana Tech beat Nevada 73-62 at Reno.
Sophomore guard Dellena Criner scored a game-high 21 points for Nevada. Senior guard Traci Graham, who played little due to foul trouble in the first half and a mild ankle sprain in the second half, did not score and is still 13 points away from the 1,000-point milestone.