Bolla: UH needs
to look inside

Coach Jim Bolla wants to see his post players pull an inside job in the team's final two home games this week.

Tulsa at Hawaii

When: Tomorrow, 7 p.m.
Where: Stan Sheriff Center
Radio/TV: None.
Tickets: All seats general admission. $7 adults, $6 seniors. UH students with valid ID and children age 4-18 free.
Parking: $3

The Hawaii women's basketball team closes out its Western Athletic Conference home season at the Stan Sheriff Center tomorrow against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and Saturday against the Rice Owls.

Earlier this year on the road, the Rainbow Wahine lost to Rice 70-68 when their last two shots in the final 8 seconds missed the mark, then were blown out by Tulsa in the second half 83-64.

The Wahine (10-11, 6-8 WAC) split two games on the road last week and the concern Bolla addressed in practice this week was the lack of inside offensive production and rebounding by the post players.

The three post players, Brittany Grice, Alofa Toiaivao and Callie Spooner combined for 14 points in each game and combined for 14 rebounds against Boise State and eight rebounds against Texas-El Paso.

"We can't live with the outside game. I'm not asking the post players to get 20 points, but eight to 10 would be good," Bolla said.

"When we go inside out we are a better team. It's the mental part of the game we need to address. The post people aren't trying to get rebounds when we take a jump shot. We're not crashing the boards enough or with the right people.

"The UTEP post gets 18 points in the first half and we're just standing around and watching.

"I refuse to use the travel thing as an excuse. It's part of the deal when you play for UH. You know it before the season starts and you have to be ready. If we can do it academically, we can do it athletically."

Tulsa (16-8, 8-6) comes to town with wins in its last two games and the reigning WAC Player of the Week in Jillian Robbins. She earned the honor for the fourth time this season by averaging 32.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.0 blocks per game last week.

The Golden Hurricane also have Megan Moody, who scored 26 points in 31 minutes against UH in Tulsa.

"Now we are to the point where every game is the most important game of the season. We have to win some games to position ourselves better in the standings," said Bolla. "In this conference, Tulsa is the hardest team for us to match up with. Their big people are really mobile and can shoot from outside. They shoot NBA 3s and can run and beat you down the lane on a layup. Tulsa is tied for third (with Southern Methodist and San Jose State), arrived here early and is very serious about this game."

If the Wahine can find consistency down the stretch, they won't need to worry about a play-in game to get in the WAC tournament.

"The good thing is we are home," Bolla said. "Tulsa is a key game for us. We are in a need-to-win situation. We can't afford any more losses."

Note: Fans buying a ticket to the Tulsa game can use that stub for a free ticket for Senior Night when the Wahine play Rice on Saturday.

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