Martin, Carter
came up big for ’Bows

Hawaii receives breakout
performances from two of
its seniors in an overtime
win over OSU

Only time will tell whether Michael Kuebler's buzzer-beating 3-pointer to defeat Oregon State on Monday night will mark a turning point in the Hawaii basketball team's season. But the Rainbow Warriors' dramatic victory is already significant for the breakout performances turned in by two key seniors.

Forward Phil Martin enjoyed his most productive game of the young season on the offensive end and guard Jason Carter sparked the 'Bows with his quickness on the defensive end in their 70-67 overtime win over the Beavers.

Martin entered the game averaging 8.3 points per contest, but found his rhythm against OSU and made nine of 13 shots from the field. He finished with season highs in points (21), rebounds (six) and assists (four).

"It was an extreme relief and weight off my shoulders," Martin said. "It was something I was waiting for.

"Sometimes it can be an up-and-down kind of game with your mind and I was just trying to grasp something solid to hold on to. I'm just trying to use this game to help me flourish throughout the season."

Carter, who entered the season as the starting point guard, came off the bench on Monday to swipe a career-high five steals and push the 'Bows to transition buckets in the second half.

"That's just what JC brings to the game ... he's like the spark plug," Kuebler said. "We don't have much of a transition game, but when he comes in we definitely look to run a little bit more. He's able to cut through the gaps and penetrate on people, and he really gives us a different look."

Carter racked up six points, four rebounds and three assists before a cramp in his calf forced him to the bench.

UH reserve forward Jeff Blackett also turned in a solid game with seven points in 24 minutes. Blackett and Martin worked well together, dishing assists to each other on several occasions on cuts along the baseline. Julian Sensley had a rough night offensively, but made up for it with 10 rebounds and the assist that led to Kuebler's game-winning shot.

"It proves that we've got fighters for 40 (minutes)-plus," Carter said. "We played until the game was over and we pulled out a close one."

While Kuebler's shot with one second left in overtime grabbed the headlines, Martin's short hook with 5.7 seconds left in regulation might have had more pressure attached to it.

With the Rainbows trailing 57-55, Carter drove toward the basket and when Martin's defender stepped over to help, Carter dished the ball to Martin for the tying score.

"JC is supposed to take his man one-on-one while the big guys screen for Kuebler and Logan (Lee) coming out to possibly spot up on the wing," Martin explained. "If he can penetrate to the hole and get there, fine, but most of the time the man will help out. ... The ball got in my hands and I had a clean hole to the basket."

Said Carter: "I was actually looking Kuebler coming up, but the only person I saw was Phil. It was either him or me shooting it so I let him shoot it and he did a good job with it."

The Rainbows hope to roll the momentum of the win over the Beavers into this weekend's Adidas Festival at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The tournament opens Friday with Idaho State facing New Orleans at 5 p.m. Hawaii then takes on Texas Southern at 7. Saturday's play begins with Texas Southern meeting Idaho State at 5 p.m. UH plays New Orleans in the tournament finale at 7.

After the tournament, the Rainbows have a week to prepare for the 40th Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic. They begin Western Athletic Conference play with a home game against Fresno State on Jan. 3.

"It was a good win for us," Martin said. "It was tight throughout, but it came down to executing certain plays. It's definitely a start to get us into the busy season that's coming up."


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