Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, November 26, 2001



Wahine Classic title a
good sign for Cardinal

By Al Chase

The Stanford players may not know yet, but they have the opportunity to duplicate the footsteps of a very successful Cardinal team from the past.

"The last time we brought a team here (1996) that won the tournament, we ended up going to the Final Four," said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer.

The present Cardinal team may not be as fine-tuned as VanDerveer would like, but there wasn't much to question after No. 7 Stanford dominated a strong Penn State team for the final 28 minutes in the championship game of the Panda Travel Wahine Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center last night.

With tournament MVP Lindsey Yamasaki delivering 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, the Cardinal (5-0) took the lead for good on a 3-pointer by freshman point guard Sebnem Kimyacioglu at the 8:33 mark of the first half en route to a 90-68 triumph.

And, VanDerveer is still without last year's starting point guard, Susan King, who is recovering from an injury.

Hawaii won the third-place battle with Oklahoma State 72-62 in a game that wasn't as close as the final 10-point difference. The Wahine (4-1) started fast, took a 21-10 lead on Natasja Allen's layup with 11:23 left in the first half and maintained a double-digit advantage for the rest of the game.

Janka Gabrielova scored UH's first nine points on two driving layups, a 6-foot jumper and a 3-pointer from the left corner. Allen scored three times from the paint and April Atuaia had a three-point play and a 3-pointer.

Atuaia, the sophomore shooting guard who struggled with her offense in the first four games, produced 35 minutes of hard-nose basketball yesterday. She led the Wahine with a career-high eight assists, pulled down 13 rebounds and her 17 points was right behind Gabrielova's game-best 19.

"It has been frustrating because I was real excited coming into the season," Atuaia said. "I try to learn from my mistakes and the coaches kept telling me to relax."

Many of her assists came on pinpoint passes from the perimeter.

"Oklahoma State was playing a tight man defense, so the baseline was open and my teammates were there at the right time," said Atuaia. "One of the stats I wanted to work on after last year was rebounds, so I've been crashing the boards more. I still have a lot of little things to work on to help the team."

Goo said, "The first four games of the season, April didn't play well on offense, but she was playing hard every game. That's the thing, if you play hard every game, things will work out."

Hawaii played 14 minutes of the first half without 6-foot-5 center Christen Roper who got into quick foul trouble. However, the Wahine didn't flinch as Jade Abele, Arijana Sijercic, Christa Brossman and Chelsea Wagner came off the bench to contribute solid minutes.

"I said (to the players before the game) that I thought we set a new standard against Stanford and we need to play to that standard. This is the third day and everyone is tired, but then we can come out and shoot 77 percent (from the field). That's very difficult to explain except that you're mentally tough and get things done."

Oklahoma State coach Dick Halterman said, "Our defense, which is our strong point, just wasn't there in the first half and Hawaii was hitting their cutters very well."

The Wahine shot 58 percent (29-for-50) from the floor and made 57 percent (8-for-14) of their 3-point attempts, both season highs.

"To finish third behind Stanford and Penn State feels darn good," said Goo.

The Lady Lions (3-2) led early as sophomore Kelly Mazzante scored 17 of Penn State's first 24 points on a variety of shots. She finished with 30 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. At times, Mazzante was matched up against Stanford's Nicole Powell, also a very talented sophomore, who scored 18 points and had eight caroms.

"I think our depth was the key to our comeback early," said VanDerveer. "This was a championship game and we had a championship effort against a team with great execution. This is a great tournament and that will help us throughout the season."

Minnesota 76, Weber State 67: Lindsay Whalen led four Golden Gophers (4-1) in double figures with 24 points as Minnesota won the fifth-place game. Lindsay Lieser added 15 points and Corrin Von Wald had 12.

Crystal Howe poured in 23 points and Kris Clyder-Gardner had 15 for the Wildcats (3-2).

Wyoming 75, Florida Atlantic 71: The Cowgirls (2-2) held a 42-38 halftime lead, fell behind once early in the second half, then maintained a four - to eight-point lead for the final 14 minutes of the seventh-place game.

Wyoming's Carrie Bacon hit 10 of 16 field-goal attempts on her way to a game-high 21 points. She also helped the Cowgirls hold a 48-36 rebound advantage by hauling in 10 balls off the boards.

The Owls (0-3) got 18 points from Crystal Boyland, 16 from Janka Deckerova and 15 from Chantell Jones.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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