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Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, January 22, 2001

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

Rainbows avert
disaster with
OT victory

By Dave Reardon

Playing at home is generally worth between three to seven points in college basketball.

Saturday in the WAC, it wasn't worth squat.

Of four games, the visitors won three. And two could be considered upsets, as Rice knocked off Texas Christian and Tulsa beat Texas-El Paso, which was previously unbeaten in the WAC.

Hawaii was the only home team to successfully defend its turf. It's hard to call it a win, as UH's 65-64 overtime survival against San Jose State was more like a non-loss.

It would have been devastating if the Rainbows (8-8, 2-3) fell to the last place Spartans (8-8, 0-5) -- especially with a road trip to Rice on Thursday and Tulsa on Sunday on the immediate horizon.

"It would be very difficult for us if we lost," guard Ricky Terrell said. "We already seem to have a fear of playing on the road."

The Rainbows are 0-3 on the road this season, and 0-2 in conference.

"(Losing on Saturday) could have destroyed us mentally. We're thankful we won," coach Riley Wallace said.

Once again, redshirt freshman post Phil Martin deserves a good share of the gratitude.

Martin scored a career-high 21 points and asserted himself on the glass for eight rebounds.

After going 8-for-10 from the field, he is now shooting 67 percent from the floor at 58-for-87 on the season.

"It was scary. I don't really like overtime," said Martin, whose three-point play at 4:41 of OT helped Hawaii win it. "It's only five minutes, but it's got to be your hardest five minutes."

Just a few minutes earlier, it would have been ludicrous for anyone to suggest it would come to that.

A Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 4,517 saw the Rainbows build a 52-41 lead, only to blow it in the final 7:44, as the Spartans' Mike Garrett scored eight of his game-high 21 points.

"We knew it would be (close) down the stretch," Wallace said. (San Jose State coach) Steve (Barnes) did a great job preparing for us. But we were prepared for them, too."

The Spartans continually mixed their defenses, going from press to man to zone.

"We executed our zone offense well early, but they had us scrambling a little bit later," Wallace said.

It was the second time in two years that UH needed an extra session to beat visiting San Jose State (8-8, 0-5).

It was also the second time that missed free throws by guard Predrag Savovic helped prevent the Rainbows from securing the victory in regulation.

"History repeats itself," said Savovic, who came into the game making 68 percent of his free throws, but missed three with 1:44 left after he was fouled on a 3-point shot.

That kept Hawaii ahead 56-53, until Garrett hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 56 with 1:16 left.

Garrett missed from the top of the key and Darnell Williams hit the front of the rim as he missed a 35-foot buzzer bomb, sending it to OT.

The Spartans' Andre Valentine scored all eight of his team's points in overtime, including two free throws at 4:58 that gave San Jose State its first of only two leads in the game.

Savovic, who finished with 16 points, atoned for his earlier misses by making two charity shots with 2:37 to go in overtime. That gave UH the lead it would keep, 61-60.

He added to it by scoring a layup off a long backdoor lob by Nerijus Puida at 1:44.

Terrell sandwiched a sweet baseline drive between a 15-footer and two free throws by Valentine.

After a Hawaii turnover with 29 seconds left, San Jose State worked for a last shot.

Garrett's driving layup was blocked by Troy Ostler with two seconds left. The Spartans retained possession, but Cory Powell's rushed 12-footer rimmed out at the buzzer.

The Rainbows survived. Barely.

Hawaii 65, San Jose State 64 (OT)

Spartans (8-8, 0-5 WAC)


Rainbows (8-8, 2-3 WAC)


Key--fg: field goals; fga: field goals attempted; ft: free throws; fta: free throws attempted; min: minutes; reb: rebounds; a: assists; tp: total points.
Halftime-Hawaii 30, San Jose State 21. Regulation--Hawaii 56, San Jose State 56.
3-point goals--SJS 5-14 (Powell 2-5, Garrett 2-6, Landram 1-1, Valentine 0-2); UH 2-13 (Terrell 1-2, Savovic 1-5, Hilton 0-1, English 0-2, Puida 0-3). Personal fouls--SJS 21, UH 17. Fouled out--Williams. Technical fouls-SJS bench. Steals--SJS 4 (Williams 2, Granucci, Valentine), UH 6 (Martin 2, Puida, Ostler, Burneika, English). Blocked shots--SJS 2 (Powell, Thurmond), UH 5 (Ostler 4, Puida). Turnovers--SJS 18 (Garrett 7, Landram 3, Granucci 2, Williams 2, Valentine, Sonnenberg, Powell, Thurmond), UH 18 (Ostler 5, Savovic 3, Hilton 3, Terrell 3, Puida 2, English). Officials--Cota, Smith, Darlen. A-6,438 (tickets distributed), 4,517 (turnstile).

WAC standings

ConferenceAll Games

Fresno St.501.000162.889
San Jose St.05.00088.500

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