Hawaii looking to avenge 41-point road loss at Fresno


POSTED: Saturday, February 06, 2010

Fresno State gave Hawaii and new coach Dana Takahara-Dias quite a welcome to Western Athletic Conference play last month.

The well-rested Rainbow Wahine are anxious to provide their own brand of hospitality today as UH hosts the Bulldogs at 5 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.

League-leading FSU (17-5, 8-0) handed UH (9-12, 3-5) an 83-42 loss on Jan. 6 to open up conference play. It was the worst WAC loss in Wahine history.

“;With a difference hopefully a month makes, and a confidence boost over the last couple of games that we've been playing ... we look at it, who knows?”; Takahara-Dias said. “;Try our best, enjoy the moment, and see where it ends when the buzzer goes off.”;





        Who: Fresno State (17-5, 8-0) at Hawaii (9-12, 3-5)

When: 5 p.m. today


Where: Stan Sheriff Center


TV/Radio: KFVE, Ch. 5/KKEA, 1420-AM




UH is coming off a 63-49 victory over San Jose State on Jan. 27 in which the Wahine posted their best defensive half of the year in jumping out to a 37-13 lead at the break. All 10 active players contributed as UH now stands in a four-way tie for fifth place.

But Fresno is a different animal. The two-time defending league champs have won nine straight and underscored the divide in the WAC by punishing SJSU 68-31 in San Jose last Sunday. Guard Jaleesa Ross leads the Bulldogs with 17.5 points per game, second in the league.

Coach Adrian Wiggins' team has won 13 of the last 14 games in the series, and the 41-point drubbing was one of five games UH lost by 30-plus points this season.

“;During the nonconference schedule, we saw some very good teams. We did, though, come across a very good team in Fresno, a very hot team,”; Takahara-Dias said. “;They shot a phenomenal game that night (51.7 percent), and they coupled it with a press that we were unable to actually counter.”;

Avoiding a spate of turnovers could determine whether UH can keep this one close. The Wahine are worst in the WAC in giveaways at 20.8 per game, while Fresno coughs up the ball a WAC-best 15.7 times per contest.

UH could get a spiritual boost off the court. Former Wahine coach Vince Goo will be inducted into the UH Sports Circle of Honor at halftime of the UH men's game, following the Wahine game.

Takahara-Dias served as a UH administrative assistant under Goo, and was coached by him for the latter part of her playing career. In addition, assistants Da Houl and Serenda Valdez also held those posts under Goo, who has more than half of the total program victories with 334.

“;He's taking away our thunder,”; Takahara-Dias said. “;No, we went to his luncheon induction (yesterday) afternoon, and we were just so proud that one of our mentors, our role models, will be honored fittingly for a great career he had at UH. And he made the comment that he was shocked to see the whole coaching staff when there's a game tomorrow night.”; She laughed. “;But we know where our loyalties are.”;

UH closes its three-game homestand against New Mexico State on Wednesday.

Free ticket with purchase of UH men's ticket

Fans who buy tickets for the UH men's basketball game vs. Fresno State at 8:05 p.m. receive free admission to the Wahine game. Fans may remain in the arena between games.