Wahine look to end skid against powerhouse LaTech


POSTED: Saturday, February 20, 2010

Opposing momentum collides today at the Stan Sheriff Center.

Louisiana Tech, a resurgent women's basketball powerhouse, pits its five-game winning streak against battered Hawaii and its five-game losing streak at 5 p.m.

The Rainbow Wahine (9-17, 3-10 Western Athletic Conference) had just two days to prepare and recover from a disheartening three-game road trip to Idaho, Nevada, and San Jose State. UH could have all but sewn up a berth to the WAC tournament with a win over the last-place Spartans on Wednesday, but fell 68-61 in their third road game in five days.

Now the Wahine are in a pitched battle to protect their eighth-place standing against LaTech (17-6, 8-3), one of the league's top teams, with just three games remaining. Should UH lose out and SJSU pick up a third league win, first-year coach Dana Takahara Dias' team will be in danger of being left home from Reno, Nev., come tourney time, as is the last-place team's fate this year.

“;We don't dwell on (the losing streak); we reflect back on our success to make improvements,”; junior guard Leilani Galdones said. “;We've been shooting a good percentage, but we're trying to get more shots off.”;





        » Who: Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (17-6, 8-3) at Hawaii Rainbow Wahine (9-17, 3-10)

» When: Today, 5 p.m.


» Where: Stan Sheriff Center


» TV: KFVE, Ch. 5


» Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM


» Note: Admission is free for those with a ticket to the 8 p.m. UH men's basketball game.


Shoring up the post defense will be a must if UH is to stand toe-to-toe with the Lady Techsters' twin towers, 6-foot-2 Shanavia Dowdell (17.8 points per game, 12.4 rebounds per game) and 6-0 Adrienne Johnson (16.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg).

LaTech coach Teresa Weatherspoon, a women's basketball legend, has her alma mater pointed back toward greatness. She won her first eight games as interim coach last season to help pull the proud program out of mediocrity, then maintained the solid play this season to entrench Tech for a second- or third-place seed in the tourney.

Dowdell, a senior, has nine straight double-doubles and 15 for the season. In LaTech's 75-62 win in Ruston, La., on Jan. 16, Dowdell and Johnson notched double-doubles.

“;A lot of their plays go through the post,”; said sophomore forward Breanna Arbuckle, UH's top rebounder (5.7) and shot blocker (34). “;But I think we play better at home, we rebound better, and we'll be fine.”;

UH is 3-3 at home in WAC play, but dropped its last two there vs. Fresno State and New Mexico State. The Wahine close out their home schedule with Boise State on Wednesday.

Tech leads the all-time series 21-3, including 11-2 in Honolulu.

Point guard Keisha Kanekoa leads UH with 11.2 points and 3.3 assists per game.


Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game as part of UH's Pink Zone for breast cancer awareness.