Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, November 26, 2001


Hawaii's Mark Campbell crashes into Wisconsin's Travon Davis
as he makes a pass during the third-place game at the Big Island
Invitational in Hilo. Hawaii won 60-57.

’Bows upend Badgers,
take third in Hilo

Hawaii manages a third-place
finish at Big Isle tourney

By Cindy Luis

HILO >> The Big Island was nearly a big bust for the Hawaii basketball team. The Rainbows expected to be playing in the Big Island Invitational Tournament title game but had to settle for third place.

UH And they were more than happy to collect that trophy as they left Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.

Thanks to a 19-point performance from Carl English, and four clutch free throws from his fellow Canadian Phil Martin, the Rainbows managed to squeeze past Wisconsin 60-57 in their first BIIT appearance. Hawaii (4-1) has a quick turnaround from the short road trip, with just a day to prepare for tomorrow's 7 p.m. game with Northwestern State at the Stan Sheriff Center.

"Regardless of where Wisconsin finishes this season, it's still a win for us over a Big Ten team," Hawaii coach Riley Wallace said. "We lost a close one (Saturday to Colorado State) and today we won close. I hope it's a sign that we are maturing. I think our pride took over."

Wallace also shared in the pride of Hawaii-Hilo's victory over South Carolina State. The Vulcans are coached by Jeff Law, a former Wallace assistant.

For the first time since 1993, the host Vulcans did not finish last. Hawaii-Hilo (3-2) pulled away from South Carolina State (0-4) 87-69 in the seventh-place game, ending a 23-game losing streak in this event.

South Carolina State's Dexter Hall was called for a foul as he
tried to draw a charge on Hawaii-Hilo's Kyle Bartholomew.

The championship went to Weber State (4-1), which rallied for a 72-69 win over previously undefeated Colorado State (4-1). It was a game that brought new meaning to the term "fast break" as both teams had about 65 minutes to make it to the airport for the flight to Honolulu and the connecting flight home.

In the fifth-place game, Louisiana State rolled over Mercer, 84-54.

Hawaii 60, Wisconsin 57: The dogs were let out of the doghouse for the Rainbows, who blew a 16-point lead in losing to Colorado State 61-59 Saturday. Wallace had not been happy with English's defense -- the lack of it -- or with Martin's disappearing act (0-for-1 from the field with three turnovers in 25 minutes).

Martin showed up yesterday, hitting his first shot for Hawaii's first basket. The sophomore forward more than redeemed himself against the Badgers (1-3), finishing with 14 points and no turnovers in 36 minutes.

"Coach told us we had to dig down deep," said Martin. "Hitting that first one was a boost for me. I didn't play well (Saturday).

"We didn't hit our free throws (Saturday) and that cost us. Every point counts and when you're at the line, there's pressure, but you have to make them."

The Rainbows made them when they had to. Martin's basket with 6:28 gave Hawaii the lead for good at 48-47 and his two free throws two minutes later made it a 50-47 cushion.

Wisconsin's weakness was its baseline defense. The quicker Rainbows made the Badgers pay, with Mike McIntyre and English driving for layups and a 55-51 lead.

Travon Davis' basket closed it to 55-53, but Hawaii easily broke Wisconsin's press. English hit a streaking Mark Campbell for an uncontested layup with 20 seconds left for a 57-53 lead.

The teams traded free throws before Martin iced the game with two more from the line with 10 seconds remaining. The Badgers countered with Davis' second 3-pointer with one second to go to finish the scoring.

Wallace said he wasn't comfortable until the final horn sounded.

"We really wanted to be 5-0 right now, thought we would be," said Wallace. "The team bounced back and they have a lot of heart. Phil (Martin) was hurting after the loss and he came back with a lot of energy."

"You're all physically tired at the end of the game," said English. "What it comes down to is heart and mind. You have to be mentally tough. The team that wants it more will win.

"Being 4-1 is pretty good considering we have Savo (Predrag Savovic) on the bench."

Hawaii is hoping to hear from the NCAA today on the fate of Savovic, Luc-Arthur Vebobe and Tony Akpan. The three foreigners have already sat out five games.

UH's contention is that Savovic should not have missed any and Vebobe only 2.2. Akpan's status was unclear after new documentation on his entry into the U.S. as a high schooler was submitted.

Wisconsin was led by Devin Harris' 15 points, all coming in the first half.

Hawaii-Hilo 87, South Carolina State 69: A promise made is a promise kept.

Good to his word, Vulcans guard Scott Prather refused to lose. He told coach Law that there was no way they would fold against the Bulldogs as they had against LSU the day before.

"Promise?" Law asked.

"Promise," Prather replied.

The senior out of Maui High hit a career-high 37 points, 22 in the second half, the second-most points scored in a game in BIIT history. It was two points off the tournament's single-game scoring record of 39 set by Utah State's Silas Mills against Hilo in the 1995 event.

The Vulcans led 43-31 at the half, but saw the Bulldogs close to 51-50 with 13 minutes to go. Brady Hyde's 3-pointer keyed a six-minute spurt in which the Vulcans scored on seven straight possessions (six of those on 3-pointers) during a 17-5 run that put them up 71-55.

Prather had half of the treys and "I was feeling it," the 5-foot-10 guard said. "I didn't sleep much (after Saturday's 64-62 loss where the team was leading until the final 26 seconds). I was angry and I was hurting. I wanted the ball, and knew I had to stick the 'J' (jumper)."

Prather hit on 14 of his 16 shots, his only misses coming from long range. He also had seven assists and three steals. The last steal helped seal the game, when the right-hander drove on a fast break and threw up a left-handed scoop shot that dropped as he was fouled.

The 3-point play gave Hilo a 76-60 lead. SCS got as close as 14, but the Vulcans outscored the Bulldogs 8-2 in the final three minutes to give Law his second victory over a Division I school in his four years.

"We needed this one," said Law. "It means a lot. It was hard for us to come back (for a 9 a.m. game), but I'm sure it was harder for South Carolina State to get up for a Division II team this early.

"This team has grown a lot and I've been asking a lot. They came through. It's impressive for a little guy like Prather to be able to carry a team like he did."

Weber State 72, Colorado State 69: Playing as if they didn't have a plane to catch, the Wildcats took their time in coming back against the Rams.

Weber State trailed 58-50 with nine minutes left then outscored CSU 12-2 over the next four minutes for a 62-60 lead. It was the first lead for the Wildcats since early in the first half.

The game was tied twice before Weber State pulled away on free throws.

Jermaine Boyette, who hit three free throws and had a crucial steal in the final 17 seconds, finished with a game-high 22 for Weber State.

LSU 84, Mercer 54: Lucky to escape with a win Saturday against Hawaii-Hilo, the Tigers took no chances yesterday. LSU broke away from a 40-25 halftime lead to win by 30 against the Bears.

Collis Temple led three LSU players in double figures with 22. Torris Bright added 18, 12 coming after intermission. The Tigers outrebounded the Bears 45-27.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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