H A W A I I _ S P O R T S
Saturday, February 17, 2001
Tip-off --7:05 tonight, Stan Sheriff Center.
Coaches -- Rice: Willis Wilson, ninth season at Rice (115-131). Hawaii: Riley Wallace, 14th season at UH (210-196); 16th major-college (225-223).
Season -- Rice: 12-11 overall, 4-7 WAC (seventh place). Hawaii: 11-12 overall, 5-7 WAC (sixth place).
Series -- Hawaii leads, 7-2. But Rice won the last meeting, 70-64, in Houston on Jan. 25. Mike Wilks scored 18 points to lead the Owls. Troy Ostler paced the Rainbows with 27 points.
Rice starters -- F Erik Cooper (6-foot-6, 215 pounds, Sr., 12.9 ppg, 6.2 rpg); F Yamar Diene (6-9, 215, Fr., 2.9 ppg, 3.1 rpg); C Ferron Morgan (6-10, 225, So., 2.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg); G Shawn Tyndell (6-5, 205, Jr., 11.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.7 apg); G Mike Wilks (5-11, 180, Sr., 20.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.5 apg).
Hawaii starters -- F Nerijus Puida (6-5, 195, Sr., 9.0 ppg., 5.7 rpg, 4.7 apg.); Post Troy Ostler (6-10, 220, Sr., 15.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.0 bpg.); Post Phil Martin (6-7, 198, Fr., 9.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg); G Mike McIntyre (6-3, 205, Jr., 6.1 ppg, 1.7 apg); G Predrag Savovic (6-6, 225, Jr., 17.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.4 apg).
Game keys -- After Thursday's victory over Southern Methodist, Hawaii must avoid the kind of letdown it suffered after beating Fresno State two weeks ago -- three nights after beating FSU, UH was nearly knocked off by Nevada at home. Hawaii should have the edge on the boards, with Haim Shimonovich spelling Ostler and Martin (Rice was outrebounded, 34-22, in its 57-53 loss at San Jose State on Thursday). UHneeds to slow the quick Wilks -- who scored 20 points on Thursday -- probably with a combination of McIntyre and Carl English, two of the team's better perimeter defenders.
Also of note -- When UH met Rice in Houston, the Owls jumped to an 11-2 lead. ... Brandon Evans, with 10 points off the bench, was the only Owl other than Wilks to score in double-figures against San Jose State. ... Wilks has led Rice in scoring in 17 games. ... Hawaii comes off a game in which it had its season-high in assists (26) and tied for low in turnovers (10). ... Wallace said he did not know when starting guard Jeep Hilton (sprained right ankle) would be ready to play again.
On the air -- Radio: Rainbow Sports Radio (KCCN 1420-AM) live. Television: KFVE (Channel 5) live. Internet: www.uhathletics.hawaii.edu/Sportslive/listen.html.
Tickets--$14 all lower level, $10 upper (adult), $8 student section, $7 upper (student). Available at Stan Sheriff Center box office.
Dave Reardon, Star-Bulletin