'Bows hold off Fresno


POSTED: Friday, February 20, 2009

The Rainbow Warriors were steely when it mattered against Fresno State and escaped with a 73-69 victory last night at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.



Roderick Flemings:

Led UH with 22 points

despite shooting 5-for-14


Roderick Flemings put in 12 of 13 free throws en route to 22 points and 12 rebounds as Hawaii (13-12, 5-8 Western Athletic Conference) moved past idle San Jose State for sole possession of sixth place in the WAC. It was UH's second road victory in WAC play and its second home-and-home sweep of a conference opponent this year.

After allowing Nevada to score the game's final eight points in a 47-46 loss on Saturday, the Rainbows stayed composed late by scoring on six of their final eight possessions.

That included four straight pressure free throws made by Flemings and Kareem Nitoto to put the game away in the final 21 seconds.

“;I think our guys did a nice job of staying together,”; Hawaii coach Bob Nash said. “;We have short memories; we put that (Nevada) game behind us. ... We control our own destiny and we want people to know that we're getting better as a team. Tonight we could have very easily just showed up here and not played well ... but these guys are resilient and have a lot of pride.”;

        Fresno St. 69
        NEXT UP
        vs. UC Irvine tomorrow

Nitoto had 12 points and five assists, Bill Amis added 11 points and Brandon Adams chipped in 12 off the bench for UH, which shot 49 percent.

Hiram Thompson ran an impressive floor game alongside fellow point guard Nitoto with eight points, six assists and five rebounds.

But this one wasn't nearly as easy as the 69-43 hurting the Rainbows put on the Bulldogs in Honolulu on Feb. 5. Last-place Fresno State (10-17, 2-10) was still soundly beaten on the backboards (a 32-27 UH advantage) but never fell behind by more than six points behind the combined 15-for-28 shooting of Sylvester Seay (22 points) Paul George (16) and Nedeljko Golubovic (15).

In addition, Nash went with essentially a six-man rotation for the whole game with forward Petras Balocka out with a groin injury. Depth became a problem when starting forward Paul Campbell fouled out with 5 minutes, 27 seconds left, combined with the foul trouble of Amis, Nitoto and Flemings.

UH could never pull away from the last-place Bulldogs despite leading for most of the game. Each time the visitors seemed poised to break open the game, the Bulldogs came up with a big shot; Golubovic went 4-for-6 on 3-pointers. And Hawaii had no answer from deep—the Rainbows went without a 3-pointer for the second straight game (0-for-5) after a string of 135 games with at least one trey made.

FSU tied things up at 43 with 11:36 left on a George layup, but Flemings answered with a thunder dunk on a 3-point play to put Hawaii up for good.

“;We didn't get rattled, we kept our emotions intact, and came down with clear minds and clear visions where we wanted to go with the basketball,”; Nash said. “;We got layups off their breakdowns, and those are the types of things good teams recognize and take advantage of.”;



WAC standings

Utah St.121.923242
New Mexico St.85.6151412
Boise St.75.583178
San Jose St.48.3331113
Louisiana Tech49.3081116
Fresno St.210.1671017

Hawaii 73, Fresno State 69

Louisiana Tech 84, Houston Baptist 47

Nevada vs. VCU


Hawaii 73, Fresno State 69

Rainbow Warriors (13-12, 5-8)

TEAM  55  1

Bulldogs (10-17, 2-10)


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 32, Fresno St. 32

3-point goals—Hawaii 0-5 (Nitoto 0-2, Flemings 0-1, Thompson 0-1, Mayen 0-1), Fresno St. 7-18(Golubovic 4-6, George 2-4, Seay 1-2, Ladd 0-2, Cartwright 0-2, Green 0-2).

Steals—Hawaii 6 (Amis 2, Thompson 2, Flemings, Nitoto), Fresno St. 7(Golubovic 3, George 2, Seay, Ladd). Blocked shots—Hawaii 4 (Amis, Nitoto, Thompson, Adams). Fresno St. 1 (Sperling).

Officials—Bill Kennedy, Terry Christmas, Kevin Brill. A—9,830.