Flemings ignites 'Bows


POSTED: Monday, November 16, 2009

Roderick Flemings was patient, even when his team was in danger of taking its first loss of the young season.

Flemings put Hawaii on his back when it mattered and helped stave off a comeback by McNeese State for a 73-65 UH win on Day 2 of the 46th Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic last night at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Rainbow Warriors set up a late-night showdown with Northern Colorado for the outright tourney title today at 11 p.m. on ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.

A crowd of 2,953 watched as Hawaii improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2004 by shredding the Cowboys' zone defense with 3-pointers in the first half, then bullying the Southland Conference visitors in the paint late when a 12-point lead evaporated.

“;It helps guys with morale, it helps guys understand that you play the right way, it becomes contagious,”; UH head coach Bob Nash said. “;Guys want to play to win, instead of being selfish. We're trying to play team basketball.”;

Flemings had only four points midway through the second half, but powered through in the post for his second double-double in as many games (14 points, 10 rebounds). Dwain Williams scored a game-high 20, Jeremy Lay added 11 and Petras Balocka 10.

“;We came out and figured out a way to pull it off at the end,”; said Flemings, who was moved from small forward to power forward by Nash at halftime. “;I just try to stay patient and trust my teammates to move the ball around, and when it's open I just take the shot. ... We started running our plays all the way through.”;

The Rainbows rode the hot hand of Williams early. The transfer guard poured in 16 of his points in the first period as UH made seven 3-pointers, more than any complete game in 2008-09. It discouraged the Cowboys from using a zone defense the rest of the game.

McNeese (0-2) clawed to within 56-55 when Diego Kapelan buried a 3-pointer, and a simultaneous UH foul allowed an ensuing Cowboys basket from an out-of-bounds play with 8 minutes, 54 seconds left.

The Cowboys had several more chances to tie or take the lead, but never could get over the hump. They botched several lay-in attempts on fast breaks or after blowing by the Rainbows' defense in the halfcourt.

That's when Flemings, a 6-foot-7 senior, took over. He poured in 10 of UH's final 19 points.

Coach Dave Simmons thought his team's lack of free throws—McNeese set a Stan Sheriff Center and Rainbow Classic record by never getting to the foul line—was because of the Cowboys' jump-shooting style. UH, by contrast, attempted 30 foul shots and outrebounded McNeese 38-24.

“;We just couldn't get them out of the paint when we needed to,”; Simmons said. “;(Flemings) just overpowered us when they needed him. Our post game is not present enough where we can command enough to get to the foul (line).”;

McNeese was without starting point guard C.J. Collins. Kapelan led the Cowboys with 14 points.

Northern Colorado 73, Southern Utah 51

The Bears of the Big Sky Conference earned their second blowout win of the Classic by scoring 37 points off 31 Thunderbirds turnovers.

Guard Will Figures had 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting to lead UNC, which is 2-0 for the first time since 2000, when it was still a Division II program.












































































































































Cowboys (0-2, 0-2 OHRC )
TEAM  1    



Rainbow Warriors (2-0, 2-0 OHRC)
TEAM  6   1
Totals22-57 22-303811731710200

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— Hawaii 37, McNeese State 30
3-point goals— MSU 9-19 (Regis 2-3, Kapelan 4-7, Martin 3-7), Hawaii 7-22 (Lay 2-4, Thompson 1-2, Williams 4-12, Balocka 0-1, Mayen 0-1, Flemings 0-2).
Steals— MSU 4 (Regis 2, Richards 2), Hawaii 4 (Thompson 2, Flemings, WIlliams). Blocked shots— MSU 2 (David 2), Hawaii 2 (Campbell 2).
Officials— Scott Thornley, Mike Littlewood, Todd Apo. A— 2,953.