Shimonovich ready
for bruising battles

By Jason Kaneshiro

Haim Shimonovich's statistics following last week's win over Tulsa painted a picture of a productive night for the Hawaii center. But the scratch running down his forehead was more indicative of life in the paint.

Shimonovich earned his battle scar banging with Tulsa's big men for 37 minutes of game time while scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. He is ready to go at it again this week as the Rainbows face physical battles in road games at Louisiana Tech and Southern Methodist.

"I feel a little better now," Shimonovich said as the Rainbows prepared for today's game at Louisiana Tech. "I've been getting some good rest."

The Rainbows will need a strong effort from the 6-foot-10 junior from Rishon LeZion, Israel to scratch their way back into WAC title contention.

Going into this week's action, Hawaii was 13-5 overall but 1-5 on the road and Shimonovich had epitomized the Rainbows dual personalities.

The junior began the season with 18-point outings in the Rainbows' first two games. He averages 11.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in 12 games at the Stan Sheriff Center and recorded double-doubles in early-season games against Eastern Illinois (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Butler (14, 10) and in both of last week's WAC wins over Rice (10, 11) and Tulsa.

On the road, Shimonovich is still a solid contributor on the boards, grabbing more than seven per game, but his scoring drops off to fewer than four points per outing.

"On the road I don't produce much," Shimonovich said. "I think it's because (traveling) is pretty hard on my body, but we came here early this time and we had time to recover."

But even if he doesn't score much, Shimonovich has shown he can still contribute to the offense. He leads the WAC with 61 offensive rebounds and is second on the team in assists with 54.

"When I see somebody open it's better for me to get them the ball," Shimonovich said.

While the Rainbows need Shimonovich's production on offense, UH coach Riley Wallace said defense will remain a key to turning around the team's fortunes on the road.

"You have to play good defense if you're going to win on the road," Wallace said. "Last year we won 11 games on the road, so we have to get that together and try to have the same motivation we have at home."

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