Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, February 17, 2002



Race for second continues

By Grace Wen

Maintaining composure is what the Wahine basketball team needs to do both on the court today against Rice and in the race for second place in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Rainbow Wahine play the Owls today at 2 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Though ahead of Rice (16-7, 10-4) in the conference standings, Hawaii (17-5, 10-3) isn't exactly breathing easy. The Rainbow Wahine only have some temporary breathing room. The other nine teams in the WAC have all but conceded the conference title to eighth-ranked Louisiana Tech, so the four second-place contenders -- Hawaii, Tulsa, Rice and San Jose State -- are fighting for the chance to be seeded away from Tech in the conference tournament in March.

"We can control only what we do and who we're playing," Hawaii coach Vince Goo said. "We can't spend too much time being concerned about other people that we don't have any control over. We're just concerned about us and Rice. They got game one so we have to get game two.

"We're going to have to execute our offense a lot better than we did. We held them to 30 percent shooting, so defensively we did pretty good. And that was at their place. They did a good job defensively. They took us out of our rhythm, our game. The first time around we let the pressure get to us and we did not take shots within balance. We didn't have a lot of control of our body."

Thursday's win over Tulsa vaulted Hawaii from fourth place to second, but it could be short-lived if the offense stalls again. The Rainbow Wahine shot a mere 20 percent in their first meeting with the Owls, a 57-43 loss at Autry Court. Hawaii needs to break Rice's full-court press and attack its tight man-to-man coverage.

The Owls are only a half-game back and face a must-win situation after being upset by the Spartans on Thursday. Three players scored in double figures but only Kara Ligget averaging in double figures at 10.9 points a game.

While the Owls have an unblemished conference record at home (6-0), Rice hasn't fared well on the road, with a 7-6 record. Should the Owls pick up the season sweep, they would hold a tiebreaker advantage in head-to-head competition if the two teams finish with identical conference records.

Note: San Jose State defeated Tulsa 63-60 yesterday to drop the Golden Hurricane a full game behind Hawaii in the conference standings.


When: Today, 2 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
TV: None
Radio: None
Internet: None


Conference Overall

W L Pct. GB W L

La. Tech 14 0 1.000 -- 19 3

Hawaii 10 3 .769 3 12 17 5

Rice 10 4 .714 4 16 7

Tulsa 10 5 .667 4 12 15 10

San Jose St. 8 6 .571 6 13 10

Nevada 6 8 .429 8 9 14

Fresno St. 4 10 .286 10 8 15

SMU 4 10 .286 10 9 14

Boise St. 4 11 .267 10 12 8 17

UTEP 1 14 .067 13 12 3 19

Boise State 63, Fresno State 50
Louisiana Tech 82, SMU 36
Nevada 79, UTEP 56
San Jose State 63, Tulsa 60

Rice at Hawaii, 2 p.m.


HAWAII (17-5, 10-3)

Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.

G Janka Gabrielova (Sr.) 5-6 11.0 3.3 4.3

G Chelsea Wagner (Fr.) 5-10 7.5 2.6 1.0

F Natasja Allen (Jr.) 6-2 12.0 5.8 0.9

F Karena Greeny (Sr.) 5-11 9.5 5.9 1.9

C Christen Roper (Jr.) 6-5 10.1 7.6 0.6

RICE (16-7, 10-4)

Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.

G Kara Liggett (Jr.) 5-10 10.9 2.6 1.0

G Lindsey Maynard (So.) 5-10 9.3 3.1 2.0

G Kim Lawson (Jr.) 5-7 5.1 2.2 3.6

F Elisa Inman (So.) 6-2 8.8 5.7 0.8

CF Daneesh McIntosh (Sr.) 6-0 7.4 7.4 1.1

Notes: Rice leads the series 5-4 including a win in January at Autry Court. The Owls stifling defense held the Wahine to their lowest shooting percentage of the year. Neither team fares well in the other team's gym with Hawaii winning the games in Honolulu but losing in Houston. Both teams are 1-1 at a neutral site. ... Sophomore April Atuaia has been cleared to play and could see some time but head coach Vince Goo isn't sure and said "we'll see as the game goes."

UH Athletics

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