UH going
for road sweep

The Rainbows look to win
the second game of their trip

From staff and wire reports

BOISE, Idaho >> The bar has been raised.

No longer is a split on the road acceptable to the Hawaii basketball team. The Rainbows have gotten greedy and they want even more today.

Hawaii (8-1, 1-0 Western Athletic Conference) puts its six-game winning streak on the line today at the Boise State Pavilion (10 a.m. HST). The Rainbows, coming off a 64-52 win at UTEP on Thursday, are looking to repeat the sweep of this particular road trip from a year ago.

The host Broncos (7-4, 1-0) also won their WAC opener Thursday. Boise State rallied from an early 17-3 deficit to beat San Jose State 58-56 on Bryan Defares' 8-foot jumper with two seconds remaining.

"The sweep is the goal," said Hawaii coach Riley Wallace. "I told our players, 'If you want to be WAC champs, you have to win these road games.'

"We were lucky we were playing El Paso Thursday. They are down this year, and we were flat. We tend to play better the second game of the trip, and let's hope that it holds true this time. We've got to get after them."

Wallace's concern is Defares, the junior guard who is solid in the clutch. He won two games for the Broncos last season with time running out, including scoring a four-point play with no time left in a WAC tournament game against UTEP.

Defares scored 18 of his 20 points against San Jose State in the second half. Junior guard Booker Nabors also was big in the second, scoring seven straight points to give the Broncos a 54-47 lead.

"I think the game could be the same kind of game as we had with UTEP," said Rainbow sophomore forward Nkeruwem Akpan. "It's going to be cold there and maybe hard to run.

"But we are very certain that we want to win two on this trip."

Hawaii used two free throws by Predrag Savovic with 10.4 seconds left to defeat Boise State here last year, 64-62.

"Boise is a run-and-gun team," said Rainbow guard Michael Kuebler, who was heavily recruited by BSU last spring before opting for Hawaii. "We need to get our stuff together, come out a lot better than we did at UTEP."

Wallace is looking for a better inside game from his junior big men Haim Shimonovich and Phil Martin. The pair combined for 14 points Thursday, although Shimonovich did have nine rebounds and three blocks.

"We need to get our big guys the ball, which we didn't do enough at El Paso," Wallace said. "We have to get energy in our road game. This team needs to learn how to win tough ballgames on the road."

Note: When Hawaii opened WAC play with a sweep of its road trip at UTEP and Boise State last season, it was the first time in four years the Rainbows came home 2-0. ... Hawaii will look to extend its Stan Sheriff Center winning streak to 20 when hosting SMU next Thursday.

UH at Boise St.

When: Today, 10 a.m. Hawaii time
Radio: Live, 1420-AM
TV: None

UH Athletics

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