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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 25, 2003

UH plays hard-to-figure Nevada

By Ann Miller
Advertiser Staff Writer

 •  UH Wahine basketball

WHO: Hawai'i (10-5, 4-2) vs. Nevada (7-10, 0-7)

WHERE: Stan Sheriff Center

WHEN: 7:15 tonight

TV/RADIO: Broadcast live on KFVE and 1420 AM

TICKETS: $7 adults, $6 senior citizens, $4 students.


A month ago, Nevada was the surprise of Western Athletic Conference women's basketball. The Wolf Pack, picked to finish eighth in the preseason, was on a five-game winning streak and had players littered across the national statistics.

Going into tonight's game against Hawai'i at the Stan Sheriff Center, Nevada is again the surprise of the WAC. This is not a sweet surprise.

The Pack is on an eight-game free-fall. It has not won in 2003.

"I think they're going to turn it around," Rainbow Wahine coach Vince Goo says. "I hope it's not here."

Nevada (7-10, 0-7 WAC) is going so bad it lost at Boise. But a look just below the surface shows that six of its defeats have been by fewer than 10 points. It fell in overtime to SMU, which beat the 'Bows. And the Pack has a history of making Hawai'i (10-5, 4-2) look bad.

At last year's WAC Tournament, the teams set a conference record for offensive futility as the 'Bows won a 45-41 quarterfinal. It was a spectator-unfriendly game dominated by defense.

Nevada shut down Hawai'i posts Christen Roper and Natasja Allen while the Rainbow Wahine silenced center Kate Smith, now the WAC's third-leading scorer. The only players who shot with any success were seniors and won't be available tonight — Nevada's Katie Golomb and Hawai'i's Karena Greeny.

Goo does not expect another game like that, but says he has no idea what to expect from Nevada.

"They've got inside game, they've got outside game, they're solid," Goo says. "I don't know what's going on."

The Pack's statistics make the slide even more difficult to understand. It leads the WAC in shooting, is among the Top 20 nationally in 3-point percentage and its three seniors are having exceptional seasons.

Smith's scoring average is up from her two previous all-WAC seasons. Point guard Laura Ingham is third nationally with almost eight assists a game. Ashley Bastian leads the country at just under four 3-pointers a game and is hitting nearly half her shots beyond the arc.

Thursday against San Jose State, Bastian went 6-for-12 from outside and the Pack forced 18 first-half turnovers, and still lost by three.

Those numbers are enough to get the Rainbow Wahine's attention.

"They'll come out and play," April Atuaia says. "Teams in the WAC ... the level of competition is so streaky."

OVER AND BACK: Hawai'i leads the series with Nevada, 16-2, and has won the last seven. ... Nevada coach Ada Gee is 114-152 in her 10th season. Those that preceded her went a combined 106-263.