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Searching for mo'


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POSTED: Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Now more than ever, selective memory is important for the Hawaii men's basketball team.

The Rainbow Warriors are trying to erase the mental trauma of their disheartening 61-59 loss to San Jose State last week. The defeat made the road through next week's Western Athletic Conference tournament in Reno, Nev., considerably tougher.

The Rainbows (13-15, 5-10 WAC) played well at times against the Spartans and had several chances to come out of San Jose, Calif., with a win, but UH was crippled by late-game gaffes.

“;We have to have short-term memory in the sense that, you know, we did a lot of good things in the San Jose game,”; Hawaii coach Bob Nash said. “;We ran our offense, got good looks, got good shots. We hit a patch in the road there of about 16 seconds or so where we had some real breakdowns, and that cost us the game.”;

Hawaii learns tomorrow if it still has a chance to take the seventh seed in the WAC tournament and stay out of the fearsome play-in game against last-place Fresno State.

No team has ever emerged from the play-in game to win the WAC tourney title and advance to the NCAA Tournament. It will be a tall task again this year; the winner of the play-in game earns an unenviable date with first-place Utah State in the quarterfinals.

Louisiana Tech leads UH in the standings by a game, but if the Bulldogs lose at Idaho tomorrow, then the window re-opens for the Rainbows and they'll control their destiny before heading to Reno. If the first condition happens and Hawaii then beats New Mexico State (which might already be locked into its seed) at the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday, UH claims seventh place; Hawaii owns the tiebreaker against LaTech with its season sweep.

In both seeding repercussions and the nature of the game itself, the SJSU loss hurt — the Spartans scored the game's final seven points after UH led 59-54 with 3 minutes, 36 seconds to play. But the Rainbows refocused over the last two days in practice.

“;We're trying to move past it, man,”; junior swingman Roderick Flemings said. “;It was a tough loss for us in the last seconds of the game. Trying to get past it and go to the WAC tournament, and go into this game on Saturday with some confidence and win this thing.

“;(We) hope LaTech loses to Idaho and just do what we need to do against New Mexico State, hope everything works out all right.”;

Forward Petras Balocka continues to miss practices as he rehabs his injured groin, and is doubtful to play Saturday. Point guard Kareem Nitoto was active in the first half of yesterday's practice, but hobbled off after tweaking an ankle.