Wahine searching for identity on offense


POSTED: Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Can a double dose of Kent State cure what ails the Hawaii women's basketball team?

The Rainbow Wahine and coach Dana Takahara-Dias sure hope so with Western Athletic Conference play looming just beyond the new year.

UH (4-7) takes on the Golden Flashes (6-3) of the Mid-American Conference on consecutive days at the Stan Sheriff Center starting tonight at 7 in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Showdown.

The Wahine are desperately searching for any kind of offensive identity as they languish in the bottom three of WAC teams in nearly every meaningful statistic. The team got off to a good start in the Duel in the Desert tournament in Las Vegas before Christmas—coming from behind to beat Kansas State—then regressed to anemic play in losses to host UNLV and No. 12 Florida State.





        » Who: Kent State (6-3) at Hawaii (4-7)

        » Where: Stan Sheriff Center

        » When: Today and tomorrow, 7 p.m.

        » TV: Today none, tomorrow KFVE

        » Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM, both games

“;I do believe at this point our weaknesses lie in the fact we need to find offense in a hurry,”; Takahara-Dias said. “;We struggled desperately from field goals and haven't been shooting well collectively as a team. So we've been working really hard on offense. And it's not just about shooting. It's about timing, it's about patterns, it's about executions.”;

In 11 games, eight different players have led the team in scoring. No active player on the roster averages double figures (Keisha Kanekoa is highest at 9.8 points per game). UH scores an average of 60.7 points while yielding 73.3—the most among WAC teams and the worst scoring margin (minus-12.5) in the league.

As a team, the Wahine remain susceptible to pressure; their turnovers (236, 21.5 per game) outnumber their assists (124, 11.2 per game) by more than 100.

If there's a silver lining, it's that UH has rarely played at home, 1-2 at the Sheriff. And the Wahine are reasonably well-rested after Takahara-Dias gave her players three days off around Christmas. The team came back with more practice time against “;Da Braddahs”; scout squad of male UH students.

Kent State played another two-game series against UH in Honolulu in 2005. The Flashes return four starters from last year's 19-10 team, and will likely provide another stiff test.

“;We need improvement in all aspects of our game at this time,”; Takahara-Dias said.