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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 31, 2003

Hawai'i right at home in 85-70 win over Rice

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

The latest item on the home-cooked menu: Rice.

Hawai'i's Carl English continued his drive to the basket after getting fouled by Rice's Jamaal Moore. English's 30 points helped the Rainbows to an 85-70 win.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

A return home meant a return to winning ways for the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team in an 85-70 victory over Rice last night.

Hawai'i, which was coming off three road losses, increased its home winning streak to 23 — the fourth-longest such streak in NCAA Division I, and three shy of the school record.

A crowd of 4,829 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched Hawai'i improve to 12-5 overall and move up to fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference at 5-4. Rice dropped to 12-6 overall and 4-4 in the WAC.

"They couldn't stop any of us," UH junior guard Carl English said. "It was a great overall effort."

Five 'Bows scored in double-figures, led by English's 30. He shot 9-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. His final two points of the game — two free throws with 31 seconds remaining — gave him 1,000 for his career, making him the 10th player in UH history to reach that figure.

Michael Kuebler added 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting for the 'Bows.

"Kuebler and Carl have been doing it every night for us," UH head coach Riley Wallace said. "We were shooting the ball pretty good, but our big guys were the difference."


Player, seasons Points

1, Chris Gaines, '86-89 1,734

2, John Penebacker, '69-73 1,519

3, Alika Smith, '94-98 1,415

4, Predrag Savovic, '99-02 1,414

5, Melton Werts, '72-76 1,314

6, Phil Lott, '88-92 1,290

7, Tom Henderson, '72-74 1,082

8, Anthony Carter, '96-98 1,070

9, Reggie Cross, '87-89 1,013

10, Carl English, '99-03 1,000

The Hawai'i big men came up big, as 6-foot-10 center Haim Shimonovich and 6-8 forward Phil Martin each posted double-doubles. Shimonovich had 10 points and 11 rebounds, while Martin finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead the 'Bows to a 39-28 advantage in rebounding.

Martin also had two blocked shots and two highlight-reel dunks, but said: "I was actually more happy with my four assists."

Nkeruwem "Tony" Akpan, a 6-8 forward, came off the bench to contribute 10 points.

"When the big guys are playing like that, we're in good shape," Wallace said. "When we have an inside game to go with our outside game, we're pretty tough."

From the start, Hawai'i relied on its balanced attack to ruffle the Owls' defense. Two separate 13-0 runs by Hawai'i in the first half led to a 50-37 advantage at halftime.

The first 13-0 surge turned a 21-19 Rice lead into a 32-21 UH advantage with 7:42 remaining. Five different 'Bows scored during the run.

The Owls got as close as 33-29, but the 'Bows responded with another 13-0 surge to push the lead to 46-29. Again, five different UH players contributed to the run.

"For us to give up 50 points in the first half is a reflection of our lack of fortitude, I think," Rice head coach Willis Wilson said. "We just didn't do a good job on defense, that's all."

English had 19 points in the first half alone on 6-of-7 shooting from the field.

"They were changing up their defenses on us," English said. "But we were running our offense and executing real well."

As proof, no UH player took more than 12 field-goal attempts.

"Carl gets 30 (points) with 12 shots," Wallace noted. "That's what was good about it."

Hawai'i never lost the lead in the second half, although Rice got as close as 68-62 with 5:11 remaining. The 'Bows responded by scoring the next seven points to secure the victory.

Hawai'i improved to 11-0 at home this season; its road record is 1-5. "If you knew what (the reason) was, you'd be a genius," Wallace said.

Omar-Seli Mance led Rice with 20 points, while Michael Harris added 17.

Hawai'i will host Tulsa in the second annual "White-Out" game tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center. All fans are encouraged to wear white shirts.