Wahine win; Bolla likely out for year


POSTED: Monday, March 02, 2009

A ferocious comeback capped off with some ad-libbing was just enough for a joyous senior night for the Hawaii women's basketball team.

























        NEXT UP

        at Nevada on Saturday

The Rainbow Wahine stormed back from a 20-point first-half deficit and Keisha Kanekoa hit the game-winning shot with 9 seconds left to stun Boise State 68-67 last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

With UH (7-21, 4-11 Western Athletic Conference) down by a point, acting head coach Pat Charity drew up a double-screen play for Kanekoa coming out of a timeout. Kanekoa momentarily lost control of the ball, but recovered on the block and put her shot in off the glass. Boise State's Jamia Malone and Janie Bos were both off the mark in the final 4.2 seconds.

When the horn sounded, the crowd of 360 cheered and the Wahine sprang from the bench and mobbed each other at midcourt. Seniors Catherine Cho, Ebony Jones and Tara Hittle were traditionally honored after the win.

“;I kind of tried to split (the double pick) and got a little fumblerooski,”; Kanekoa said. “;Add a little football in there. (We were) playing hard, playing with heart, confidence. Playing for the seniors. We wanted this win.”;

Kanekoa had a monster game with 15 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Dita Liepkalne also scored 15.

“;I will always be thankful to every single one of my teammates,”; said a lei-clad Cho, who came out to sing the national anthem and “;Hawaii Pono'i”; before tip-off. “;We were down 20, we came out really excited, I think, those emotions were really high. We went into halftime, didn't focus on the score, and we just focused on the fact that there's a whole 'nother half. I was kind of joking with the girls, 'Eh, we just like making it exciting for ourselves.'”;

Cho had 12 points and five rebounds, while Jones had four points, five boards and two blocks. Hittle sat out with a leg injury; the Wahine were down to only 10 active players.

Hawaii is still locked into the WAC tournament play-in game, but will leave for Reno, Nev., on Thursday with some momentum.

UH looked lifeless in the first half, in which it fell behind 39-19 through 18 minutes. But the Wahine cut it to 39-22 at halftime and used a 15-0 run coming out of the break to pull within a point.

BSU (16-13, 9-6) countered with runs of 7-2 and 8-2 to go back up by double digits, but the Wahine weren't done yet. UH rattled off a 15-4 spurt capped by a Megan Tinnin 3-pointer to take its first lead at 59-58.

BSU scored seven straight to go up 65-59, but Kanekoa hit two free throws, Cho hit a pull-up jumper and Tinnin (12 points) nailed another trey as part of a 7-2 run that pulled the team within a point before Kanekoa's final heroics.

“;At halftime, I just told them the same thing that Coach (Jim) Bolla's always told them,”; Charity said. “;When you get down like that, you play 4-minute games. You just have to continue to, little by little, chop at it. We came out like gangbusters—that was the best we've ever come out. We just stepped up the defense, and I think we surprised them. They didn't know what happened.”;



WAC standings

WAC Overall

Fresno State103.769197
Louisiana Tech104.7141/21711
Idaho95.6431 1/21213
Boise State96.60021613
Utah State86.5712 1/21413
Nevada86.5712 1/21413
New Mexico State59.3575 1/2919
San Jose State114.06710226

Hawaii 68, Boise State 67

Broncos (16-13, 9-6)

Team  7

Rainbow Wahine (7-21, 4-11)

Team  2

Key—fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fouls; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.

Halftime—Boise State 39, Hawaii 22

3-point goals—Boise State 5-18 (Moore 3-6, Malone 1-4, Rima 1-1, VanBrocklin 0-2, Pilcher 0-5), Hawaii 5-15 (Cho 2-2, Tinnin 2-9, Galdones 1-1, Liepkalne 0-1, Kanekoa 0-1, Hamilton 0-1).

Steals—Boise State 9 (Bos 2, Kepilino 2, Galassi, Malone, Pilcher, VanBrocklin, Sanders), Hawaii 8 (Kanekoa 4, Tinnin 2, Liepkalne, Cho). Blocked shots—Boise State 2 (Malone, Kelpilino), Hawaii 7 (Jones 2, Arbuckle 2, Liepkalne, Kanekoa, Dew).

Officials—Shelley Nakasone, Carla Fujimoto, Tony Timmons. Attendance—360.