Rainbows flustered in Idaho


POSTED: Friday, January 09, 2009

MOSCOW, Idaho » Hawaii desperately needed a pick-me-up last night at Idaho.

The Rainbow Warriors never got it.





        NEXT UP
at Boise St. tomorrow

Kashif Watson poured in 19 points and Mac Hopson added 14 more, leading the resurgent Vandals to a 67-47 triumph over Hawaii in a Western Athletic Conference game at the Cowan Spectrum.

It was Idaho's largest margin of victory in WAC play since joining the conference in 2005, eclipsing its previous best of 11 points.

Conversely, it was the largest margin of defeat this year for the Rainbow Warriors (9-6, 1-2), who slogged their way to a season-low point output and were uncharacteristically outrebounded by the smaller Vandals 37-26.

“;I challenged every one of our players to rebound and be physical tonight and the key stat in the game was we outrebounded one of the best rebounding teams in the conference by 11,”; said first-year Idaho coach Don Verlin, whose team improved to 8-8 and 2-1.

“;Rebounding has to be an emphasis because of our size. It needs to be a team effort and we got that tonight.”;

Hawaii coach Bob Nash said several factors played into the outcome—a grueling 16-hour road trip and many of his players' first game at altitude chief among them.

Still, Nash praised the opposition for a job well done.

“;I think you have to give Idaho credit,”; he said of the Vandals, who'd won a combined seven WAC games over the previous three seasons. “;They controlled the tempo. They're a much improved basketball program.”;

The Rainbow Warriors got off to a decent start, connecting on their first three 3-point attempts, the second of which put them ahead 8-4 with 15 minutes, 52 seconds to play in the first half.

But Idaho responded with a 9-0 run and never trailed again, forging a 30-24 lead at the break after the Rainbow Warriors failed to take advantage of Hopson's early foul problems. Idaho's leading scorer drew his third infraction with 4:02 to play in the half and was forced to watch from the bench until halftime.

The Vandals picked up where they left off after the break, extending their lead to 44-32 with 13:50 remaining.

The Rainbows quickly closed the gap to 44-36 on four consecutive free throws, two of which came courtesy of a technical foul against Idaho's Marvin Jefferson.

But Idaho pulled away for good with a 12-0 spurt that spanned more than 6 minutes and left Hawaii trailing 58-38 with just 6:57 to play.

“;I thought our energy level was way down,”; said Nash, whose team shot a dismal 29.8 percent from the field and suffered its eighth straight road loss dating back to last January's 58-53 victory at Idaho.

Junior forward Adhar Mayen agreed.

“;We didn't have the intensity we usually play with,”; he said. “;We didn't play aggressive.

“;They got too far ahead of us. They separated and added more pressure. That caused indecision, and ... (we) turned the ball over.”;

Roderick Flemings led the Rainbow Warriors with 16 points on 5-for-12 shooting and Lasha Parghalava added 12 points despite hitting just two of 13 attempts from the field.

Hawaii was without starting point guard Hiram Thompson, who sat out with a hamstring injury suffered late in Monday's 65-64 victory over Louisiana Tech.

It was just the Rainbow Warriors' second road game this season, and Mayen said many of his teammates—seven of whom are new to the program this season—weren't sure what to expect.

“;It was a very good learning experience,”; he said. “;Most of our players haven't been on the road like this and played through a conference schedule.”;

Hawaii will get another chance tomorrow at Boise State, which defeated San Jose State 84-64 last night in Boise.

Idaho 67, Hawaii 47

Rainbow Warriors (9-6, 1-2)





Vandals (8-8, 2-1)


de Souza2-50-04060027



Key—fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fould; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.

Halftime—Idaho 30, Hawaii 24. Regulation—Idaho 67, Hawaii 47.

3-point goals—Hawaii. 6-18 (Flemings 4-8, Mayen 1-2, Parghalava 1-8), Idaho 3-11 (de Souza 2-4, Morris 1-3, Hopson 0-1, Simmons 0-3).

Steals—Hawaii 5 (Amis 2, Nitoto, Flemings, Parghalava), Idaho 8 (de Souza 3, Wiley 2, Hopson, Jefferson, Morris). Blocked shots—Hawaii 4 (Campbell 2, Mayen, Amis), Idaho 6 (Wiley 3, Jefferson 3).

Officials—Bill Gracey, Mike Littlewood, Stanley Reynolds. Attendance—652.