By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hawaii basketball player Janka Gabrielova played her own version of "horse" last night against Rice.
Gabrielova scored a season-high 24 points and Crystal Lee added 13 as the Wahine used a second-half rally to defeat Rice, 70-53, in a Western Athletic Conference game before 550 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
"It was my game today because I could run like a horse," said Gabrielova, a 5-foot-6 junior from Bratislava, Slovakia. "Its my kind of play. I can penetrate and dish the ball."
Most of Gabrielovas points were scored on hard drives to the basket. She made 8 of 13 field-goal attempts and 8 of 10 free throws.
"She just took it at us," said Rice coach Cristy McKinney. "We made an All-American out of her."
The Wahine went on a 33-13 run over the final 14:41 of the second half to erase a three-point deficit.
"Were really happy with our offense in the second half," Hawaii coach Vince Goo said. "In the last 17 minutes of the game, they really stepped forward."
Hawaii (14-4, 5-2) completed seven of nine 3-point plays.
"We spend a lot of time in practice penetrating to the basket and using power moves, concentrating on making the shot regardless of whether a foul is coming or not," Goo said. "A lot of shots dropped for us and we were going to the free-throw line."
Rice (11-8, 3-4) made 21 of 62 shots. During the final 10 minutes of the game, the Owls made only three field goals.
"Our ladies were really focused coming out," Goo said. "We were really satisfied with the way we played defense the whole 40 minutes, especially in transition, limiting their fast break opportunities and really contesting their shots."
McKinney said: "Hawaii played pretty well and we played pretty sorry. You cant beat anybody scoring 53 points."
Kylie Galloway, Hawaiis leading scorer with a 17.6 average, was held scoreless in the first half. She left the game midway through the second half after getting hit in the face while grabbing a rebound. She re-entered at the five-minute mark, but left 45 seconds later. Galloway scored all of her seven points during a five-minute stretch of the second half.
"Good thing Christen Roper, Dainora Puida and Natasja Allen came in and helped us at the post," Goo said. He said Galloway may have a mild concussion.
There were nine lead changes and three ties during the first half.
Rice made its first four 3-point attempts, and took its largest lead at 19-13 with 8:43 left in the half.
The Owls made just one of their final 10 3-point attempts.
"We got some looks, but we just didnt make any of them," McKinney said.
Gabrielova scored seven consecutive points to give the Wahine a 20-19 lead with seven minutes remaining.
Hawaii took a 29-27 lead into the intermission.
Ten of the 11 players who entered the game for Rice in the first half scored at least two points.
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