Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 24, 2005

Rainbow Wahine 'must' beat Tulsa

By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer

Standing 6 feet 8, there's no shortage of height or apparent optimism for University of Hawai'i women's basketball coach Jim Bolla.


Bolla declared tonight a "must-win" game against visiting Tulsa, and told his seventh-place team to prepare for a remarkable run at next month's Western Athletic Conference Tournament.

"We're in a must-win situation now," Bolla said. "We squandered away at least three opportunities to move up in the standings."

Four of Hawai'i's last seven games have come down to the final possession. UH is 1-3 in those games with each decided by two points or less.

The Rainbow Wahine (10-11 overall, 6-8 WAC) need to finish in sixth place or better to receive a first-round bye in the WAC Tournament, March 8 to 12, in Reno, Nev.

Bolla earlier told his team to plan for seven more games, a scenario that would have Hawai'i earning a first-round bye and advancing to the championship of the WAC Tournament. Hawai'i has four regular-season games remaining.

"We've got seven, that's what our goal is right now," co-captain Milia Macfarlane said. "I'm the first one to jump on his bandwagon right now and agree we can do it. We all have to pitch in."

Macfarlane said she and her teammates appreciated Bolla's unwavering faith. The Rainbow Wahine rewarded Bolla earlier this season when they defeated conference leader Louisiana Tech in overtime, 79-78. It was a victory Bolla guaranteed before this season during a Honolulu Quarterback Club luncheon.

"He's the first one who believes in us," Macfarlane said. "He believes in us more than anyone I know. We all have to get in on that as well."

Hawai'i faces a tough challenge today in third-place Tulsa (16-8, 8-6). The Golden Hurricane is seeking a season sweep against Hawai'i for the second consecutive season. Tulsa sank 10 3-pointers and smashed visiting Hawai'i, 83-64, on Jan. 29.

Tulsa is led by forward Jillian Robbins, a four-time WAC Player of the Week this season. In victories last week against Fresno State and Nevada, Robbins averaged 32.5 points, 12 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3 blocks per game. She scored a school-record 38 points against Nevada.

"We don't go into any game with the idea of stopping one player," Bolla said. "We want to play good team defense."

Tulsa also has forward Megan Moody, who scored a game-high 26 points against Hawai'i in the Jan. 29 game.

"I think if we play hard 'D' and we play our game, we'll be right there," Hawai'i guard Janevia Taylor said. "As a team, we're growing every day. We just have to be consistent in winning every night."

Hawai'i will likely counter with forwards Jade Abele (11.5 ppg, 7 rpg), Amy Sanders (12.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg), center Brittany Grice (5.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and guards Macfarlane (7.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and Taylor (11.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg).


Reserve guard Trisha Nishimoto said she suffered a neck injury in an auto accident last week in Boise, Idaho, and will miss the remainder of the season. Nishimoto said she was a passenger in the team's van that was rear-ended by another van. No one else was injured, according to team spokesman Neal Iwamoto.

Reach Brandon Masuoka at bmasuoka@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2458.

• • •


WHO: Hawai'i vs. Tulsa (today, 7 p.m.) and Rice (Saturday, 7 p.m.)

WHERE: San Sheriff Center

TV: KFVE-TV will show the UH-Rice game live

Radio: None

Tickets: $7 (adults); $6 (senior citizens); children (ages 4-18) and UH students (w/ valid ID) free. Tickets are $1 more for the UH-Rice game.

Parking: $3.

Promotions: Buy a ticket to today's game against Tulsa and get in free for "Senior Night" against Rice on Saturday by showing your ticket stub.

Aloha Seniors: Seniors Jade Abele and Milia Macfarlane, who have combined to appear in nearly 200 games for the Rainbow Wahine and were members of the 2002 and 2003 WNIT squads, will play in their final home games.


Conference Overall

W L Pct. W L

Louisiana Tech 12 2 .857 16 6

Rice 10 4 .714 17 8

SMU 8 6 .571 17 7

Tulsa 8 6 .571 16 8

San Jose State 8 6 .571 15 9

Fresno State 7 8 .467 16 9

Hawai`i 6 8 .429 10 11

UTEP 6 9 .400 11 14

Boise State 4 11 .267 9 15

Nevada 3 12 .200 7 18

Yesterday's result

Fresno State 57, Utah Valley State 36

Today's games

Tulsa at Hawai'i
UTEP at Louisiana Tech
Boise State at SMU
Rice at San Jose State

Saturday's games

Rice at Hawai'i
Nevada at Fresno State
Boise State at Louisiana Tech
sTulsa at San Jose State