Boise State slips away


POSTED: Sunday, January 04, 2009

The chances were there.

The follow-through wasn't.
























        NEXT UP
vs. LaTech tomorrow



Hawaii squandered several opportunities late in a tense Western Athletic Conference opener against Boise State and fell, 70-58, before a “;White Out”; crowd of 4,650 last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The defending conference champion Broncos (10-3, 1-0 WAC) went on a 12-2 run to close out the game after the Rainbow Warriors (8-5, 0-1) were on the cusp of breaking through for a lead several times in the second half.

Hawaii coach Bob Nash put it on himself that the Rainbows made several key turnovers and offensive execution errors in the crucial final 9 minutes after the game was tied at 51.

“;We're getting tired of experience (in close-game situations),”; Nash said. “;We need results now. We didn't get the result we wanted. Obviously we're going to look at how we made those mistakes and try to correct them.

“;But we're 13 games in, we shouldn't be making those kind of errors at this point in time. I take full responsibility for not having these guys ready to execute at the end of the game.”;

Roderick Flemings led Hawaii with 21 points, but only had four free throw attempts (four below his 8.2 per game average) in a physical contest called sparingly both ways by the referees.

“;I think it's going to be a lot harder in the WAC,”; said Flemings, who led the conference in scoring average coming in at 17.9 points per game. “;I gotta get used to the WAC referees, they didn't call a lot of calls. It was just a physical game.”;

Petras Balocka added 12 points and 12 rebounds and Kareem Nitoto came off the bench to deal six assists.

Now, the 'Bows have a day to regroup before playing Louisiana Tech tomorrow, then embarking on their first conference road trip. That includes a second meeting with the Broncos within a week, on Saturday in Boise.

Nitoto came off the bench for the third straight game and played excellent on-ball defense on Boise State point Anthony Thomas (eight assists, five turnovers). The two spoke briefly after the final horn.

“;We just said 'good game' to each other,”; Nitoto said. “;He said he'd see us at Boise. We're really looking forward to going down to their place and getting back this win that we just gave away.”;

Boise State extended its recent mastery over UH to four straight wins, including ending the Rainbows' season last year in the WAC tournament.

The Broncos gave Hawaii a rude introduction to WAC play in the first half. Boise State pushed the tempo and sought its shooters in the corners on fast breaks, while Hawaii looked tentative in the half-court.

After Boise State went up 45-35 in the second half, the Rainbows took their defense up a notch. Fueled by the boisterous crowd and steals from Nitoto, the 'Bows rattled off a 9-0 run to pull within a point.

The Broncos called timeout and scored two quick baskets, but UH responded again and tied things up at 51 on an Adhar Mayen 3-pointer with 9 minutes, 23 seconds left.

But every time the Rainbows threatened, the Broncos responded. UH, meanwhile, had three critical turnovers and three misses on four free throw attempts in the final six minutes.

Mark Sanchez, who finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, hit a fadeaway and followed with an inside basket to put BSU up 57-51 with 7:45 left. Thomas dropped in two layups during the Broncos' final run to seal the game.

Kurt Cunningham had a team-high 14 points for BSU.

“;We had to work inside and try to pound it in,”; Boise State coach Greg Graham said. “;Our big guys went to work. We played well, we played hard. We battled.”;

Boise State shot 56 percent in the first half, including 6-for-9 on 3-pointers, compared to just 33.3 percent for UH. The Broncos' 11 first-half turnovers kept things competitive.

The Broncos extended to a 23-15 lead on two 3-pointers by Paul Noonan, and to 35-24 on a muscle basket by Cunningham. But the Broncos turned the ball over three straight times to end the first half and UH pulled to within 35-29 at intermission on a Balocka 3-pointer and Nitoto's floater.


WAC Standings


Boise State101.00010-3
Louisiana Tech101.0007-7
New Mexico St.101.0007-7
Utah State00.000 1/2 12-1
Hawaii01.000 18-5
San Jose State01.00016-5
Fresno State01.00017-8

Boise State 70, Hawaii 52
Louisiana Tech 66, San Jose State 61
Idaho 78, Nevada 73
New Mexico State 79, Fresno State 66
Louisiana Tech at Hawaii, 7 p.m.
Idaho at Utah State
New Mexico State at San Jose State


Boise St. 70, Hawaii 58



























































































































Broncos (10-3, 1-0)






Rainbow Warriors (8-5, 0-1)



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—Boise St. 35, Hawaii 29.
3-point goals—Boise St. 7-23 (Garner 2-2, Noonan 2-3, Greene 1-2, Anderson 1-3, Thomas 1-3), Hawaii 3-11 (Mayen 1-3, Balocka 1-3, Parghalava 1-4, Flemings 0-1).
Steals—Boist St. 7 (Anderson 3, Greene, Okoye, Thomas, Noonan), Hawaii 10 (Thompson 4, Flemings 2, Nitoto 2, Amis, Mayen). Blocked shots—Boist St. 5 (Sanchez 3, Cunningham, Okoye), Hawaii 5 (Amis 2, Mayen 2, Parghalava).
Officials—Mark Reischling, Lonnie Dixon, Mike Giarratano. Attendance—4,650.