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H A W A I I _ S P O R T S


Tuesday, February 15, 2000




UH among field goal
percentage leaders

Believe it or not, the Hawaii men's basketball team is among the NCAA's best in field goal percentage.

Despite their current three-game losing streak, the Rainbows moved up to No. 15 from No. 16 in the nation, hitting on 48.5 percent of their shots.

They are tied with two other Western Athletic Conference teams in that department: Tulsa and Texas-El Paso.

But after 10 conference games, Hawaii ranks dead last in the WAC in scoring defense, allowing 85.6 points a game.

That's why team practice could've passed for a Marine boot camp yesterday at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Head coach Riley Wallace and his assistants admonishing the struggling team about team defense, fast breaks, traps and passing.

The Rainbows, who are 15-8 overall and 4-6 in the WAC, have lost three games in a row and face an uphill battle to qualify for a National Invitation Tournament berth.

They have four WAC regular season games left (two at home this week and two on the road) and the WAC tournament in Fresno (March 9-11).

Hawaii needs to finish with 17 to 19 wins to get a shot at the NIT.

Wallace reminded his players that the battle to qualify gets even tougher Thursday, when they host nationally ranked Tulsa (8-1 WAC, 23-2) at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The conference-leading Golden Hurricane, ranked No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 15 in the Associated Press poll, beat the Rainbows, 100-78, on Jan. 22 in Oklahoma.

Tulsa toyed with visiting Rice (0-9 WAC, 4-17) last night, pummeling the Owls, 75-33. Rice committed 35 turnovers.

'Bows fall

Hawaii plummeted in the rating indexes after the loss at SMU on Saturday.

The Rainbows fell to 96 from 78 in the Associated Press version of the Ratings Percentage Index carried on the and web sites.

The Rainbows were 81 in the version and fell to 98.

The NCAA does not release the RPI to the public.

Hawaii dropped to 110 from 101 in the Sagarin ratings published in USA Today.

Alexander steps up

Hawaii senior center Marquette Alexander is making a strong bid for the All-WAC team. He ranks in the top five in two statistical categories and in the top 10 in four.

Alexander is fourth in the conference in scoring (17.5 ppg), third in rebounding (8.4 rpg), sixth in field goal percentage (52 percent), and eighth in free throw percentage (81 percent).

The 6-8 native of San Francisco has five double-doubles on the season and has scored in double digits 18 games in a row.

UH recruiting

The Rainbow program's recruiting focus is entirely on junior college prospects right now. The list includes two Europeans, a 6-11 Alabanian and a 6-8 Lithuanian. Also being wooed is a 6-9 former high school teammate of Alexander and a point guard from the east.

By Pat Bigold, Star-Bulletin



vs. Long beach state 49ers

Bullet First serve: Tomorrow & Friday, 7:30 p.m., Stan Sheriff Center.

Bullet Coaches: Long Beach State - Ray Ratelle (19th season, 370-186). Hawaii - Mike Wilton (8th season, 146-64).

Bullet Season: No. 1 Long Beach State (8-1, 5-0 MPSF). No. 6 Hawaii (8-2, 4-1 MPSF).

Bullet Series record: The 49ers lead, 23-22, having won the past two meetings. Last meeting: The 49ers won, 3-1, in Long Beach, March 12, 1999.

Bullet Top players: LBS-David McKienzie (6-4 Jr. OH) 6.30 pg, .336; Matt Prosser (6-7 Jr. MB) 4.50 kpg, .534, 1.85 bpg; Chris Seiffert (6-4 Sr. S) 18.46 apg), Scott Faber (6-5 Sr. OH) 2.35 dpg, 13 aces. Hawaii-Clay Stanley (6-9 Jr. OH) 5.82 kpg, .257, 1.54 dpg, 25 aces; Costas Theocharidis (6-2 Fr. OH) 6.17 kpg., .395, 12 aces, 2.49 dpg; Stefan Krejci (6-2 So. S) 18.71 apg, 1.91 dpg, 1.14 bpg; Torry Tukuafu (6-5 Jr. MB) 3.37 kpg, .495, 1.25 bpg; Russell Lockwood (6-0 Sr. LE) 3.17 dpg.

Bullet About the Rainbows: Hawaii is coming off an impressive three-match road sweep in four nights, when they defeated Loyola Marymount, Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Barbara, all in straight sets... The Rainbows' only losses have come at home, both in five games, to defending NCAA champion Brigham Young and then-No. 1 UCLA...The Rainbows have 73 service aces and are on track to break the school mark of 226 set in 1996.

Bullet About the 49ers: This is Coach Ratelle's final season at The Beach. He has won one national title, in 1991 at Blaisdell Arena... The 49ers moved up one spot to No. 1 last week after UCLA was knocked off by Pepperdine. The Beach has won eight in a row since dropping their season opener, 3-2, to UCLA. Six of the 49ers' victories have come in straight sets... The 49ers return all six starters from last year's team that lost to BYU in the NCAA final.

Bullet Series keys: Hawaii needs to continue to serve tough, diversify its offense and slow down McKienzie, one of the top hitters nationally. The 49ers are solid blockers, outstuffing opponents .366 to .297, but the Rainbows have managed to thwart taller teams on the hammering of Stanley and deceptive quickness of Theocharidis. The interesting matchup will be between setters Seiffert and Krejci.

Bullet Tickets: $5-$9.

Bullet On the air: Both matches live on KHNL TV (Channel 5)

Bullet RealAudio: Click here

By Cindy Luis, Star-Bulletin

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