UH smacks Tulsa, 92-62
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
|Tulsa's Seneca Collins went sprawling over the back of UH's Vaidotas Peciukas, who faked going up for a shot.
Photos by Rebecca Breyer The Honolulu Advertiser
The Rainbow Warriors relied on every player to rout Tulsa, 92-62, in a Western Athletic Conference game last night in the Stan Sheriff Center.
"When ever we come out and shoot it like we did the second half, and play defense like we did, there's not too many teams that can stop us," UH senior guard Michael Kuebler said.
UH officials promoted the game as a White-Out, but only 5,063 showed up in white tops. But the fans who didn't want to weather the storm to get to the game missed a downpour of points from the 'Bows.
All 13 Hawai'i players in uniform scored, including a surprise appearance from Phil Martin, and the first career points from walk-on Garland Gantt.
Kuebler led the way with 21 points, including 14 in the UH-dominated second half. Julian Sensley contributed 14 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.
Jason Carter led a spirited bench effort with 11 points and five assists. The Hawai'i reserves out-scored Tulsa's, 49-15.
"It was a team effort," Hawai'i head coach Riley Wallace said. "You can't just give it all to the bench."
Hawai'i improved to 18-8 overall by snapping a three-game losing streak. The 'Bows climbed to a tie for third place in the WAC at 10-5.
Tulsa dropped to 7-18 overall and 3-12 in the conference with its eighth consecutive loss.
|Hawai'i's Phil Martin started last night's game despite a severely sprained left ankle. He played the first five minutes, recording three points. He has started in 96 consecutive games at UH.|
It was the largest margin of victory in the series, which was considered one of the WAC's best rivalries prior to this season.
"We just didn't play very well at all in that second half," Tulsa head coach John Phillips said. "It started at the end of the first half when we missed a bunch of free throws. We started feeling bad and Hawai'i took advantage."
The game started in typical Hawai'i-Tulsa fashion, with the lead changing 14 times in the first half.
The 'Bows closed the half with a 14-4 run to turn a 28-27 deficit into a 41-32 lead at intermission. The Hurricane made one of six free throws during that surge.
Carter, Jake Sottos and Jeff Blackett were particularly effective off the bench, combining for 18 points in the first half.
"When we get out and run, it's a little bit easier for me because I can see the court better," Carter said.
Carter and Blackett remained on the court to start the second half, and played key roles during a 17-3 surge that turned the game into a 60-37 romp with 13:19 remaining.
The Hurricane, which has lost its last three games by a combined 70 points, never got closer than 19 after that.
"It seems like every night there's something that affects us in a negative way, and tonight it was free throws," Phillips said of Tulsa's 9 of 19 shooting from the line.
Wallace also credited Carter with a solid defensive effort on Tulsa's leading scorer, Jason Parker, who finished with 12 points on 4 of 12 shooting. He entered the game averaging 17.8 points per game.
"JC stayed in the game because of his defense," Wallace said. "He was giving Parker fits."
Sensley's seven boards led the 'Bows to a 44-29 advantage in rebounding. His seven assists also gave Hawai'i a 24-12 advantage in that category.
Perhaps most impressive, the 'Bows committed just six turnovers, their lowest total in more than two seasons.
Martin started last night's game despite a severely sprained left ankle. He played only the first five minutes, recording three points.
He injured the ankle during practice on Thursday, and was advised by doctors to sit out last night's game. Instead, he extended his streak of consecutive starts to 96. It was also the 120th game of his four-year career, which tied the UH record held by Phil Lott.
Gantt, UH's only walk-on player, hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
Hawai'i will play its final regular-season home game against Rice tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. Seniors Carter, Martin, Kuebler, Haim Shimonovich and Paul Jesinskis will be honored after the game.
Reach Dayton Morinaga at email@example.com or 535-8101.