Posted at 11:32 a.m., Wednesday, March 6, 2002
UH beats Nevada, 45-41, despite lack of offense
By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hawai'i (21-6) plays the winner of today's Rice-SMU game in Friday's semifinals. Nevada, picked to finish fourth in the WAC, ended its season 9-19.
Kate Smith and Natasja Allen, their team's leading scorers, both scored their first baskets in the first four minutes of the second half. Allen's put Hawai'i back ahead, 24-23, after Nevada had grabbed its first advantage since 2-0.
The Rainbows built their lead back to five (28-23) with 15:16 remaining, but the Wolf Pack wouldn't go away. The teams traded baskets until the final minute, with Nevada never down by more than three, but never able to catch Hawai'i.
With UH ahead, 43-41, the Wolf Pack turned the ball over. Karena Greeny missed a driving shot, grabbed the rebound and the Rainbow Wahine set up their offense again. This time, Chelsea Wagner missed a driving shot and Nevada got the ball. It called time with 32.6 seconds left and called Smith's number. She got the ball under the basket, but couldn't get the ball to go in over 6-foot-5 Christen Roper.
Kim Willoughby and Roper kept the ball alive and Willoughby finally grabbed it and was fouled. She missed the front end of the one-and-one and Nevada's Laura Ingham brought the ball down and shot with :08 showing. That missed and Greeny got the rebound, was fouled and sank both free throws.
Nevada did not get a shot off in the final :07.
Greeny led Hawai'i with 17 points and eight rebounds. Wagner added 10 points and Willoughby had nine rebounds.
Katie Golomb had 13 points for Nevada.
When the teams played 10 days ago in Nevada, Hawai'i won on the strength of a 49-22 rebounding advantage. It was clear from the start yesterday that it wasn't going to happen again. Both teams shot poorly early, but the Wolf Pack stayed close by getting second and third shots, out-rebounding the Rainbow Wahine 20-14 in the half.
The Wolf Pack went on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 17 in the first half. But then Hawai'i finally found some rhythm offensively. Greeny sank her second 3-pointer and found Wagner open along the baseline to give UH a 22-17 lead. Nevada scored the final basket as time expired, missing one easy shot then scoring on Golomb's putback the Pack's seventh offensive rebound of the half.