UH roars past Chicago State


POSTED: Sunday, December 13, 2009

No one will confuse what happened for most of the first half of Hawaii's game at the Stan Sheriff Center last night with exquisite basketball.

Then Adhar Mayen did his best Kobe Bryant impression, and the rout was on.

UH's No. 24 hit a banked 3-pointer from the top of the arc at the halftime buzzer (reminiscent of the Lakers star's banked game-winner from that spot against the Miami Heat on Dec. 4) and ignited the Rainbow Warriors to an 83-58 win over Chicago State.

The Rainbows (5-4) won their third straight game—tying the longest streak in Bob Nash's three-year tenure as head coach—as the team heads into a nine-day break from games for final exams. Then it's on to the inaugural Diamond Head Classic on Dec. 22, UH's new signature holiday tournament.

By the time Hiram Thompson hit Roderick Flemings for a backdoor alley-oop dunk—UH's first successful lob slam of the season—a 27-3 game-breaking run was in full swing and the lead got no smaller than 24. The Rainbows shot 53.6 percent from the field in the second half, ran their halfcourt offense smoothly and earned their largest victory margin of the year.

“;(Adhar's shot) definitely gave us a boost,”; forward Petras Balocka said. “;You always want to leave on a positive note in the first half. What Adhar did, we kept building on the second half.”;

A crowd of 2,660 saw Thompson tie a career high with nine assists (against two turnovers) and Flemings score a game-high 18 off the bench. Mayen tied a season high with 12, Dwain Williams added 15 and Balocka scored 12.

“;Going into the game I told them I wanted them to have fun ... not laughing and giggling, but sharing the basketball,”; Nash said. “;I thought Hiram did an awesome job ... he got Rod going with a big-time lob, hit Adhar for a big 3, hit Dwain for a big 3. That's what you want getting ready for a very challenging Diamond Head Classic.”;

UH also benefited from aggressive post play, attempting 35 free throws (making 25) compared to 12 for CSU. The hosts forced 19 CSU turnovers, a season high, and profited with a 23-9 advantage on points off turnovers.

Hawaii starting center Paul Campbell was out with a sore back after falling on a dunk in practice on Thursday. Flemings didn't start because a sore quadriceps caused him to miss Friday's practice. Williams and forward Brandon Adams stepped into the starting lineup in their place.

Whether due to the unfamiliar group of starters or some leftover malaise from the uneven performance vs. Chaminade on Wednesday, the Rainbows were out of sorts early. They opened up shooting 3-for-15 from the field and played down to the level of their opponent.

But with 2.5 seconds left in the first half, UH forced a CSU turnover on an inbounds pass. Thompson then lobbed Mayen the ball at the top of the arc, and the senior banked in a 3-pointer with a hand in his face at the buzzer to send the Rainbows into the locker room with smiles at intermission. It capped a 7-0 run to give UH a 33-26 lead after the Cougars tied the game at 26.

The similarity to Bryant's amazing shot wasn't lost on the senior.

“;Yeah, I realized it,”; Mayen said with a grin. “;It looked good. Hiram (who inbounded it) was telling me it looked good.

“;It sent us into the locker room with a good ending. (Afterward) we had everybody contributing, sharing the ball, looking for each other.”;

Not coincidentally, that was about as long as it remained competitive.

The Cougars (3-5) of the new Great West Conference dropped their fourth straight game and remained winless against Division I competition this season. Christian Wall scored 20 to lead CSU.


































































































































































TEAM  3    



TEAM  3    

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 33, Chicago State 26
3-point goals— Hawaii 8-17 (Mayen 3-5, Williams 3-5, Lay 1-2, Thompson 1-3, Balocka 0-1, Albrechtson 0-1), Chicago State 4-15 (Wall 3-7, Scott 1-3, Montgomery 0-1, Lofton 0-1, Smith 0-1, Roberts 0-1, Kasamba 0-1).
Steals— Hawaii 6 (Thompson 3, Mayen, Adams, Flemings), Chicago State 6 (Windham 2, Lofton 2, Smith, Martin). Blocked shots—Hawaii 1 (Flemings). Chicago State 4 (Young 2, Martin, Montgomery).
Officials— Bill Kennedy, Ronnie Hernandez, Ryan Wells. A—2,660.