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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 12, 2002

UH seeks redemption

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

Coach Riley Wallace isn't satisfied with UH's loss to La. Tech.

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The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team was back at home yesterday, weary and wary.

The Rainbow Warriors arrived in Honolulu Sunday night after a seven-day road trip that produced a win at Southern Methodist, and a loss at Louisiana Tech.

"With the kind of year we're having, we can't be satisfied with that," UH head coach Riley Wallace said. "If we want to show we're for real and we want to win that league title, we have to want to win everything."

The loss at Louisiana Tech on Saturday was a rare stumble for the 'Bows in what is turning out to be their most successful season in 30 years.

Hawai'i is 20-4 overall and tied for first place in the Western Athletic Conference at 11-2. Tulsa has identical overall and conference records.

After the long day of travel — the 'Bows left Shreveport, La., at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, and arrived in Honolulu at 9 p.m. Sunday night — Wallace did not schedule practice yesterday or today.

Hawai'i does not play again until Saturday, when it will be host to San Jose State at 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Spartans are one of the four teams to beat Hawai'i this season.

"We needed some rest," Wallace said. "And because we don't have a Thursday game this week, it was a good time to rest our legs."

Still, it was a somber trip home for the 'Bows, who suffered through a 20-minute verbal tirade from Wallace after the 61-57 loss at Louisiana Tech. Wallace said it was the most upset he has been at the team this season.

"We beat ourselves, that's why I gave them a good (butt) chewing," Wallace said. "It wasn't so much the loss, it was how we lost."

Hawai'i blew a 40-30 second-half lead against the Bulldogs, and then launched several unscripted 3-point shots in an attempt to retake the lead.

"We've been so successful with the 3s that we relied on it too much," Wallace said. "We forgot that the reason why those 3s worked so well for us earlier was because we were also running our offense and getting our backdoor cuts and layups."

As proof, Hawai'i was credited with just seven assists against the Bulldogs. It was the lowest assist total by the 'Bows in more than 300 games, dating to the 1991-92 season.

"We didn't create any easy shots for ourselves," Wallace said. "It was a good lesson for us because we know what happens now when we don't play as a team."

To be sure, Wallace said he already has plans to run the 'Bows through passing drills the rest of this week.

"It's not really going back to basics, because it's too late in the season for that," he said. "It's more of a reminder of what the offense is about."

• Poll dropping: Hawai'i received 16 points in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll released yesterday.

The 'Bows had a season-high 38 points last week.

Also yesterday, the 'Bows dropped two places to No. 52 in the latest Rating Percentage Index (RPI), which helps determine at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament.

• Manager hurt: Michael McDivitt, a student manager for the 'Bows, was one of the four people injured Sunday when a scaffold collapsed at the NFL Experience bazaar at Fort DeRussy.

McDivitt was treated for hand and back injuries at Queen's Medical Center. He was released from the hospital Sunday.

Remaining UH games:

Saturday—San Jose State
Feb. 21—Tulsa
Feb. 23—Rice
Feb. 28 — at Nevada
March 2 — at Fresno State
March 5-9 — WAC tournament, at Tulsa