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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, December 22, 2003

Rainbow Wahine open Paradise Classic

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

The four teams in the University of Hawai'i women's basketball tournament, the Ala Moana Hotel Paradise Classic, each have losing records and two wins this season.

Ala Moana Hotel Paradise Classic

• Who: Hawai'i (2-5), Northern Iowa (2-4), Tennessee Tech (2-4), Fairfield (2-5).

• When: Today—Northern Iowa vs. Tennessee Tech, 5 p.m., Hawai'i vs. Fairfield, 7 p.m. Tomorrow—Fairfield vs. TBD, 3 p.m., Hawai'i vs. TBD, 5 p.m.

• Where: Stan Sheriff Center

• Tickets: $7 adults, $6 senior citizens, free for children under 18 and UH students with valid ID.

• Parking: $3

• TV: Hawai'i games live on K5 (Ch. 5)

• Radio: Hawai'i games live on KKEA 1420 AM

But Hawai'i senior guard and co-captain April Atuaia doesn't see that as a motivational problem.

"I think we always have a shot of winning going into games," Atuaia said. "I think with us, our record as well as theirs, it's pretty much even, so the teams will come out to play."

Hawai'i plays Fairfield today at 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. Northern Iowa faces Tennessee Tech in the 5 p.m. game.

Hawai'i is 2-5, Fairfield 2-5, Northern Iowa 2-4, and Tennessee Tech 2-4.

Hawai'i, which has won two of its past four games, is led by junior wing Jade Abele, who is averaging 16.9 points per game, and Atuaia, who averages 10.1.

Abele also leads the team in assists (3.0 per game), rebounding (5.9), steals (2.14) and blocks (1.29), and was named the MVP of Hawai'i's Territorial Savings Bank Invitational tournament last weekend.

Freshman wing Dalia Solia is also coming on strong, scoring a career-high 17 points against Saint Mary's and nine against Texas-Arlington. She also was named to the Territorial Savings Bank Invitational all-tournament team.

Fairfield of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is led by senior guard/forward Schrene Isadora, who averages 11.9 points per game.

Northern Iowa of the Missouri Valley Conference is on a two-game winning streak and is led by junior guard Emily Berry (14.8 points per game), junior forward Alex Cook (14.7) and senior forward Amy Swisher (14.0).

Tennessee Tech of the Ohio Valley Conference has won two of its last three games and is led by sophomore forward Emily Christian's 15.5 points per game.

This is Hawai'i's last tournament before the Western Athletic Conference season begins on Jan. 3 against Fresno State.

"It's kind of important going into our WAC season, getting motivation starting with the end of our preseason into the beginning of the WAC," Atuaia said.

Atuaia said that what the team hopes to get out of this tournament is "more experience with the younger players and keeping the pace we are at now."

"I think every game is important, you have to come to every game prepared, and these next two games come right before WAC starts, so hopefully we come out with wins," Atuaia added.

Reach Leila Wai at lwai@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2457.