Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, February 1, 1999

R A I N B O W _ B A S K E T B A L L

Alexander provoked
by fan, Wallace says

By Pat Bigold


Marquette Alexander will not face any further disciplinary action for charging a fan in the second half of Saturday night's nationally televised 93-66 loss at Fresno State's because the Rainbow center was clearly provoked, Hawaii head coach Riley Wallace said.

Hawaii, which is home now for two games, fell to 4-15 overall, and 1-6 in the Western Athletic Conference's Pacific Division. The Rainbows stand just above last-place San Diego State (0-7 WAC) in the eight-team division with seven games to go.

"He was calling Marquette names and he threw something at him -- I think it was a cigarette," said Wallace, referring to an African-American man with a megaphone who was standing at the baseline near Alexander.

"The guy prides himself in doing that to visiting players, according to fans who came up to me after the game and apologized for what happened," said Wallace. "But they said he got really rough with Marquette."

Nonetheless, as officials restrained Hawaii's leading scorer and security ushered the fan away from the court, Wallace came on to the court and pulled Alexander from the game. He was not ejected.

"I told Marquette, 'This is college basketball, not the streets. You just have to go to the official and ask for relief. Do it the proper way,' " Wallace said.

It was Alexander's second early exit in the last three games. He was ejected after two technical fouls in Hawaii's home court win against San Diego State on Jan. 23.

"He hates losing, it bothers him and he becomes very emotional," said Wallace.

Wallace said the fan was a member of Fresno State's "Dog Pound" jeering section. The game was carried live on ESPN2.

Wallace said he was encouraged by freshman guard Mike McIntyre's career-high and team-high 16 points off the bench against Fresno State.

"He did it against man-to-man," Wallace said. "His defense is usually pretty good, too."

McIntyre is Hawaii's first backcourt sub.

Wallace said he was especially disappointed with Mike Robinson, who was 5-for-24 on the two-game road trip.

"His shot selection is not good, and he's completely changed his game to everything perimeter," Wallace said. "He's got a power game and he's got to use it."

The Rainbows will host UTEP (12-8, 4-3 WAC) on Thursday and No. 19 New Mexico (17-4, 4-2 WAC) on Saturday before heading off on a three-game road trip.

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