Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, April 7, 1999

W A H I N E _ B A S K E T B A L L

Wahine seek
size, new point

UH women's basketball coach
Vince Goo hopes to sign a few
recruits to fill those vacancies

By Al Chase


Vince Goo's priorities are set.

The Hawaii women's basketball coach needs post players with size and a point guard to get them the ball.

Filling those needs could begin as early as today, the first day recruits can sign national letters of intent.

The Wahine lose senior point guard BJ Itoman. Filling her spot is vital if the Wahine hope to return to the NCAA Tournament after not making the field this year.

Four starters will be back on a team that went 17-10. Raylene Howard (20.5 points a game, Western Athletic Conference Pacific Division Player of the Year), Hedy Liu (7.4 ppg), Kyla Evers (8.2 ppg) and Crystal Lee (10.3 ppg) will be joined next season by Kylie Page (18.4 ppg in 1997-98), who sat out this year with a dislocated right ankle.

Goo signed two players during the early signing period in November -- 6-foot-4 center Christen Roper and 6-1 power forward Natasja Allen.

Allen led South Kitsap High School (Port Orchard, Wash.) to a third-place finish in the state tournament.

Roper was MVP of the Frontier League and helped Nordhoff High School (Ojai, Calif.) reach the second round of the California Interscholastic Federation playoffs. She averaged almost 20 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots a game.

The Wahine might not have to use any of their remaining three scholarships on a point guard. Maj Forsberg, a senior, and sophomore Ki'i Spencer-Vasconcellos are top candidates to replace Itoman.

"There will be some stiff competition for starting spots next year," Goo said. "Everything depends on who goes home and works on their game over the summer. Basketball players aren't made during the season."

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