Rainbow Wahine hoping to rebound from road trip
By Brandon Masuoka
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Brandon Masuoka
University of Hawai'i senior point guard Janevia Taylor cares about victories, not so much about personal accolades.
Taylor remained focused yesterday on ending Hawai'i's two-game losing streak instead of her impending scoring milestone.
"I'm excited about it, but I'm ready to get back on the winning track," said Taylor, who was told by media spokesman Neal Iwamoto this week she needs just 24 points to become the 15th player in school history to score 1,000 career points. "It's an honor to know I'm up there with all those great players."
Taylor and the Rainbow Wahine (4-4) will play their first home game in nearly three weeks tomorrow against Evansville (5-3) in the two-day Paradise Classic.
The Rainbow Wahine finished a three-game road trip last week where they beat Cal State Northridge to start, but lost to Loyola Marymount and Southern California.
"Being on the road is so much different," UH co-captain Pam Tambini said. "But to be home, in front of our home crowd, it's going to be nice. I think after two losses, we're ready for a win."
For that to happen, Hawai'i needs to fix its second-half slumps.
UH has been outscored in the second half in six of its eight games this season, including 53-31 in the final 20 minutes of a 79-69 loss to Loyola Marymount last Thursday. In that game, Hawai'i squandered a 17-point first-half lead.
"Sometimes I feel it takes us a while to get going," Tambini said. "We need to come out pumped like we did (in the second half) at Northridge."
Hawai'i rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to beat Cal State Northridge, 72-61, last Tuesday.
This week, Hawai'i has worked to improve its rebounding and post play. UH was outrebounded 85-65 in its losses last week.
"In our road trip, we really got no production from our post players," Hawai'i coach Jim Bolla said.
In its loss to Loyola Marymount, Hawai'i's post players — Brittany Grice, Tanya Smith and Iwona Zagrobelna — had more fouls (14) than points (8).
Added Bolla: "We were constantly being outrebounded in our last two games. That's just hustle and effort. We have little glimpses of playing well, but then we go back to not blocking out defensively."
It won't get any easier for Hawai'i against Evansville. The Purple Aces average 75.9 points per game, and have scored 80 or more points in four of their eight games.
"They do score a lot of points," Bolla said of the team from Indiana. "Typically, that's a basketball part of the country."
Junior forward Rebekah Parker leads Evansville, averaging 15.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Hawai'i is projected to start guards Taylor (13.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.0 apg) and Saundra Cariaga (7.6 ppg, 2.1 rpg), forwards Smith (6.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg) and Tambini (12.9 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.1 apg), and center Grice (10.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg).
Freshman guard Leilani Galdones (Kamehameha-Hawai'i) was cleared to practice this week, Bolla said. Galdones tore the meniscus in her left knee in the offseason.
Reach Brandon Masuoka at firstname.lastname@example.org.