Closing win over SJSU would be nice for Wahine
The Hawaii Rainbow Wahine conclude their home basketball season tonight against a team that shocked them on the road earlier this season.
San Jose State at Hawaii
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Sheriff Center
TV: KFVE, Ch. 5
Tickets: All seats general admission. $8 adults, $6 seniors. UH students with valid ID and children ages 4-18 free.
Hawaii (13-12, 7-6 Western Athletic Conference) has a rematch with San Jose State (3-24, 2-11) in the regular-season finale for the Wahine on Senior Night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Wahine have not forgotten Jan. 25, when they played the Spartans in San Jose and lost 57-56 despite leading at the half and having possession of the ball with 17 seconds left in the game.
That game was rock bottom for the Wahine, according to senior co-captain Brittany Grice.
"We certainly didn't play in the manner we are capable of playing," Grice said. "We had a chance to put them away, but we played not to lose instead of playing to win."
The Wahine started their six-game winning streak two days later when head coach Jim Bolla returned Grice and Amy Kotani to the starting lineup and gave freshman Megan Tinnin her first start.
"Our passing has been much better," senior co-captain Pam Tambini said. "It is more that we are playing as a team. More people are touching the ball and we're seeing people better."
Senior guard Janevia Taylor, who wants to erase the memory of her 4-for-20 effort from the field against SJSU, said, "Coming into the second half we wanted to make sure we didn't lose twice to anyone and, so far, we have done that. Now we want to finish off with San Jose and (at) Boise and sweep Idaho (on the road next week)."
San Jose State (5-23, 4-10) gave the Wahine something else to think about when the Spartans celebrated their own senior night this past Thursday by stunning first-place Boise State 68-60.
The Spartans crashed the boards for 50 rebounds, a fact that concerns UH acting head coach Pat Charity.
"We just have to make sure we get a body on someone," Charity said. "We can't give them second and third shots. We have to do a better job of holding our defensive position.
"We need to play up to our potential. At this phase in the season, anyone can beat anyone else on a given night as San Jose proved Thursday."
Four-year seniors Tambini, Grice, Taylor and Amber Lee have watched three previous senior nights. They know there will be some extra emotion, but Charity is not worried.
"They know they have to take care of business," Charity said. "They know if they want to finish third in the league standings, they can't lose at home. They are confident and believe in one another."
Hawaii leads the series 34-11, including 17-3 here.