By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer
As punishment a year ago, San Jose States womens basketball coach forced his team to wait after the game with the University of Hawaii to get autographs from the players it had just lost to.
Sunday, the Spartans proved how far they have come, much to the chagrin of Hawaii. Dominating the closing minutes and driving the Wahines ballhandlers and rebounders to distraction, San Jose won its first game ever in Hawaii, 74-72.
"We need to coach better," UH coach Vince Goo said. "I didnt do a good job. We give up an average of 58 points a game 18th in the country and we gave up 74, basically to two people (Atari Parker and Danada Smith). They are just great 1-on-1 ballplayers. Thats all it was four people stand around and one person shoots."
Now it is the Wahines turn to see how far they have come. Hawaii (12-4, 3-2 WAC) plays Tulsa (4-11, 1-3) tonight and Rice (10-7, 2-3) Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
"Theyll be back," Goo said. "Theyve been back before. They werent trying to let them score, they werent trying to miss free throws, they werent trying to turn the ball over."
The Wahine won at Tulsa (54-45) 10 days ago. Tonight, Goo promises a different look offensively and a defense poised to prevent Carla Morrow, Leela Farr and Athena Pirpich from taking over. The Golden Hurricane ended a six-game losing streak with a 69-46 victory over UTEP last week.
Rice lost three starters from the team that beat Hawaii in the final seconds at last years WAC Tournament; two went to the WNBA. Goo insists the athleticism from that team remains, only the names have changed.
"They got talent," he said. "Not as experienced as last years squad, but they got talent."
Rice lost to WAC leader TCU (58-35) last week, hitting just 24 percent of its shots. Sophomore Kara Liggett scored a career-high 22 two days later, in an 84-72 loss to SMU. It was the first time in four years Rice had lost consecutive home games, and the 35 points was the Owls lowest point total in 20 years.
Hawaii dropped to 68th in both published power ratings this week. Rice is No. 70 and Tulsa is in the 180s.
OVER AND BACK: In this weeks national statistics, Hawaii ranks third in field goal percentage defense (34.2) and 18th in scoring defense (58.7). ... Janka Gabrielovas six 3-pointers in the first half at UTEP (Jan. 14) tied a school record for most 3-pointers in a game. ... The Wahine are 22nd nationally in 3-point percentage (.382). ... Sophomore Christen Roper is now third in the country in blocks, averaging 3.1 a game. Her three stuffs against SJSU set a single-season record (49). ... Kylie Galloway needs 17 points to pass Kaui Wakita and Kim Everett, and move into sixth in career scoring. ... Tonight is Report Card Night. Students who bring in a report card with at least a 3.0 grade point average get in free.
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