Rainbow Wahine shut down Spartans


POSTED: Thursday, January 28, 2010

A half of dominant basketball was enough to put away lowly San Jose State.

Hawaii locked down the Spartans in the first period and coasted to a 63-49 victory before a gathering of 578 last night at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The victory was an important one, as UH (9-12, 3-5) gained some separation from the last-place Spartans (5-14, 1-5) and the Western Athletic Conference basement. The last-place team after 16 games doesn't qualify for the WAC tournament, but the Rainbow Wahine are in significantly better shape in moving up from eighth to sixth at the midpoint of the league schedule.

Junior point guard Keisha Kanekoa had 12 points and six assists against just one turnover, and got solid complementary efforts from Leilani Galdones and Julita Bungaite (nine points each) and Dita Liepkalne and Allie Patterson (eight apiece). UH turned the entire second half into garbage time by shooting 50 percent in the first period compared to 19 percent (4-for-21) from the floor by the Spartans.

“;When you hold a team to 19 percent in the first half, let alone 13 points, you're doing something right defensively, and we're very, very pleased with how our team was able to defend the San Jose athletes,”; coach Dana Takahara-Dias said. “;We've been working really hard on defense, but primarily being in better positions. On the road we watched game film and we saw ourselves not playing good defense because we weren't in position. Tonight, it was a much better showing, and we're fortunate that it was clicking tonight.”;

UH eclipsed its win total from 2008-09, Jim Bolla's final season, when the Wahine lost the most games (23) in school history.

This one wasn't in doubt after the first 5 minutes. Hawaii jumped on the Spartans with effective ball movement and defensive rotations to post early leads of 14-2 and 22-7. When UH went into halftime up 37-13, SJSU was in danger of setting UH opponent futility records in scoring, field goals made and field-goal percentage.

SJSU played markedly better in the second half, though, and the Wahine settled for around a 20-point lead for the final 18 minutes, until a late run brought the deficit down to 14. UH finished at 43.8 percent from the field to 29.1 for SJSU.

The Spartans scored the first eight points of the second half, but Takahara-Dias called timeout to stem the momentum and 37-21 was as close as they got until the final minute.

“;We weren't being us (in the first half). We weren't playing SJSU basketball,”; Spartans coach Pam DeCosta said. “;The first halves we've been struggling all year long with coming out and being aggressive. If we did anything different (in the second half), it was going to be aggressive. In the first half, we sat back and Hawaii took it to us.”;

The Wahine jumped out to a 12-point lead in hitting six of their first eight shots. Meanwhile, their zone defense forced SJSU into bad attempts as the shot clock routinely expired or came close to it.

Chasity Shavers led SJSU with 16 points, including 13 in the second half. Sayja Sumler added 11.

UH continues its three-game homestand on Feb. 6 against league leader Fresno State, and wraps it up on Feb. 13 vs. New Mexico State.


WAC Women's Basketball Standings

Fresno State701.00016-5
Nevada51.8331 1/211-9
Louisiana Tech33.5003 1/212-6
New Mexico State33.5003 1/213-7
Utah State34.429411-9
Hawaii35.3754 1/29-12
Boise State24.3334 1/213-7
Idaho24.3334 1/24-15
San Jose State15.2005 1/25-14

Hawaii 69, Utah State 56
Utah State 57, Idaho 55
Fresno State 73, Boise State 66


Hawaii 63, San Jose State 49





















































































































































Spartans (5-14, 1-5 WAC)
TEAM  4    



Rainbow Wahine (9-12, 3-5 WAC)
TEAM  4    

Key— fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fouls; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.
Halftime— Hawaii 37, San Jose State 13
3-point goals— San Jose St. 5-17 (Marez 2-3, Shavers 2-6, Bradley 1-2, Sumler 0-1, Hall 0-1, Brown 0-1, atoe 0-1, Ridge 0-2), Hawaii 4-12 (Bungaite 2-4, Galdones 1-3, Liepkalne 1-4, Patterson 0-1)..
Steals— San Jose State 6 (Hall, Shavers, Sumler, Atoe, Hamilton, Ridge), Hawaii 6 (Patterson 2, Liepkalne, Arbuckle, Dew, Galdones).
Blocked shots— San Jose State 2 (Hall, Atoe), Hawaii 2 (Arbuckle 2).
Officials— Wanda Szeremeta, Shelley Nakasone, Brian Yamasaki. A— 578.