Hawaii denies Chicago State


POSTED: Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Rainbow men's basketball team is quickly learning the importance of taking care of the ball.

For the second straight game, Hawaii cherished every possession like it was its last, committing a season-low nine turnovers. As a result, it posted its second double-digit victory in as many games, downing Chicago State 85-75 last night in front of a Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 3,131.

Hawaii (5-3), winners of five of its last six, made it five in a row at home while handing the Cougars (3-6) their fourth straight loss.

“;Each day we work hard in practice to try to get the offense a lot smoother,”; Hawaii coach Bob Nash said. “;It seems like it's paying off. Guys are trusting each other a lot better.”;

Petras Balocka tied career highs with 21 points and 10 rebounds and Roderick Flemings added 20 points and seven boards to lead a balanced offensive attack.

Balocka had 11 of his 21 after halftime, including a clutch 3-pointer with 1:20 remaining after the Cougars cut the deficit to single digits for the first time since midway through the first half.

“;Just trying to do whatever it helps to win,”; Balocka said. “;I started the season slow on the rebounds and have tried to pick it up and the points just came off the rebounds.”;

Eight different 'Bows scored in the first half, including Balocka and Flemings, who had 10 each. They also helped hold the Cougars to 23 percent shooting in building a 44-22 halftime advantage, their largest of the season.

Hawaii wound up needing all of it as the Cougars came alive offensively in the second half. David Holston, who entered the game leading the nation in 3s per game and averaging a shade under 27 points per game, was held to seven on 1-for-8 shooting in the first half.

“;I feel like I have to play everybody the same way,”; said Kareem Nitoto, who finished with seven points and eight assists and spent most of the half matched up against Holston. “;I have to come out and set the tone for our team and that's what I tried to do this game.”;

Hawaii lost that defensive intensity in the second half and Holston made them pay, scoring 21 of his game-high 28 after the break.

John Cantrell jump-started the Cougars with a wicked alley-oop dunk off a pass from Holston to open the second half. The Cougars scored eight of the first nine points to pull within 15 before Adhar Mayen capped a 9-2 UH run with a 3-pointer to push the lead back up to 22.

Holston then caught fire, hitting two 3s and scoring eight points during a 16-9 run that cut the lead to 12.

Chicago State eventually pulled to within nine before Balocka's 3-pointer got it back to double digits.

“;Weren't very pleased with some of our mental deficiencies in the second half,”; Nash said. “;I thought we tried to ride our lead to a victory and I want us to try to extend the lead. You do that by playing solid defense ... and I thought our defense was lacking in the second half.”;

Cantrell finished with 24 for the Cougars, who shot 57 percent in the second half. Bill Amis chipped in 14 points and seven rebounds for the 'Bows and Lasha Parghalava finished with nine off the bench.

The Rainbows have a week off as they finish finals before returning to action next Tuesday at home against UC Riverside.


Hawaii 85, Chicago State 75
























































































































































fg-a ft-a rb pf pts a to min
Mayen 4-7 0-1 4 1 9 2 0 29
Amis 5-10 4-7 7 2 14 1 1 35
Balocka 8-17 4-7 10 3 21 6 1 32
Nitoto 1-6 5-6 4 3 7 8 5 31
Flemings 7-14 6-9 7 1 20 2 0 34
Thompson 0-1 0-0 1 1 0 2 0 9
Parghalava 3-4 2-3 1 3 9 2 0 15
Lutu 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Campbell 0-1 3-4 4 2 3 0 1 8
Adams 1-2 0-2 1 1 2 0 0 5

Totals 29-62 24-39 45 17 85 23 9 200

Key—fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fould; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.
Halftime—Hawaii 44, Chicago State 22. Regulation—Hawaii 85, Chicago State 75.
3-point goals—Chicago State 10-25 (Holston 6-16, Cantrell 2-4, Walton 1-1, Wilson 1-4), Hawaii 3-9 (Balocka 1-2, Parghalava 1-2, Mayen 1-3, Amis 0-1, Flemings 0-1).
Steals—Chicago State 3 (Wilson 2, Holston), Hawaii 4 (Amis, Balocka, Nitoto, Flemings). Blocked shots—Chicago State 5 (Montgomery 2, Martin, Wilson, Walton), Hawaii 9 (Campbell 4, Amis 2, Mayen, Balocka, Adams).
Officials—Jim Stupin, Mike Littlewood, Todd Apo. Attendance—3,131.