Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, February 4, 2002



’Bows creep toward
coaches’ Top 25

By Cindy Luis

About the only thing that went wrong for Riley Wallace this weekend was that St. Louis lost in the Super Bowl.

"It was a great game," the Hawaii basketball coach said of the Rams' loss to New England that was decided on a last-second field goal.

It was almost as good as Saturday's 75-60 win over UTEP that kept the 19-3 Rainbows atop the Western Athletic Conference standings at 10-1. That victory wasn't good enough to push Hawaii into the latest ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.

Yesterday, Hawaii picked up six points to move from a tie at No. 30 to No. 29. Marquette, with the same 19-3 record as Hawaii, leapfrogged from No. 33 into 23rd following its upset of Cincinnati.

"Marquette deserves that," said Wallace, "but I think some of those other teams like (No. 24) USC should have dropped out. There were a lot of big upsets last week.

"A writer called from Sports Illustrated today, wanting to know why we were not ranked. If he does something this week, that may draw some attention."

Also coming out of the ranks of last week's unranked and into the Top 25 were Oregon (from 26 to 15) and Ohio State (from 27 to 22). Tulsa, in second place in the WAC, received seven points worth 36th place.

The Rainbows dropped three spots in the RPI to 50th and are down in the Sagarin ratings to No. 59, with a strength-of-schedule rank of 246 out of 327 teams.

Hawaii left this morning for Dallas, where the Rainbows will face SMU on Thursday. If the flights go as scheduled, it will take nearly 12 hours to reach their destination tonight.

"We're concerned about SMU," said Wallace. "Their guard (Damon) Hancock is one of the best in the league. He keeps them in the games.

"For us, we need to play with the same confidence, the same fighting spirit as we have at home."

Hawaii received 22 points in last week's Associated Press Top 25, putting the Rainbows at 36. The new AP poll comes out today.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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