Rainbow Wahine can't hang on, 69-62
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Kyle Sakamoto
The frustration of Hawai'i women's basketball coach Jim Bolla was evident on his face and in his words after a loss to Fresno State last night.
It was the end result of his team committing 26 turnovers, allowing numerous transition baskets and losing, 69-62.
A Stan Sheriff Center crowd of 370 saw Fresno State (17-5 overall) remain tied for first place with Louisiana Tech at 9-1 in the Western Athletic Conference. Hawai'i (13-8) dropped to 4-6 in the conference.
Bolla's frustration appeared to reach a high point just 23 seconds into the second half.
On the Rainbow Wahine's opening possession, guard Amy Sanders chased down an errant pass near half court and saved the ball to a Bulldogs player, who passed to Amy Parrish for a layup and 38-34 lead.
Bolla immediately called a timeout.
"It's a two-point game at half, we've got the ball, we tell them exactly what we want them to do and we come right out and we turn it over and they come right down and get a layup off of it," he said. "That's not how we wanted to start the second half.
"We talked about it at halftime, we need to make a statement and come out strong, get a couple of stops, get up 4, get up 6, get up 8. We kind of laid down right at the beginning. That's what I told them. This is totally unacceptable."
Fresno State trapped out of a man-to-man defense and Hawai'i committed 13 turnovers in each half. The Bulldogs scored 26 points off turnovers with many coming in transition.
"If we can keep it at a fast pace, we can get a few easy baskets and that really helps us," Fresno State interim coach Adrian Wiggins said.
The last time the teams played, the Bulldogs routed the Rainbow Wahine, 77-52, in Fresno, Calif., on Jan. 21.
Bolla was surprised last night's game didn't end up in similar fashion.
"You can't have 26 turnovers," he said. "For us to lose by what we lost by is a miracle. We should have lost by 20."
Reserve Tierre Wilson led four Fresno State players in double-figures with 15. Parrish added 12, Chantella Perera had 11 and Brittani Green 10 for the Bulldogs.
The only thing that kept Hawai'i in the game was a 39-24 rebounding advantage, and the play of guards Dalia Solia and Janevia Taylor.
Solia scored a career-high 22 points and Taylor added 17.
Hawai'i's bench scored two points, while Fresno State's had 21.
"They bring just waves of people off the bench and they don't lose anything athletically," Bolla said.
Bolla and Taylor felt the Rainbow Wahine had prepared well for the Bulldogs' pressure, but it didn't show last night.
"It wasn't anything we weren't prepared for, we went over it in practice," Taylor said. "We knew exactly what they were going to do and we still turned it over."
The Bulldogs took their largest lead at 52-42 with 11:50 remaining after consecutive 3-pointers by Wilson and Perera.
Hawai'i got within three twice — the last being at 55-52 with 6:11 remaining — but Fresno State repeatedly answered to keep the Rainbows at bay.
Hawai'i's Brittany Grice has been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII women's basketball third team. It is the first such honor for the junior center, who is the lone honoree from the Western Athletic Conference. Grice, a native of Redondo Beach, Calif., holds a 3.28 GPA in political science. A member of the ASUH Senate, she is a two-time UH scholar athlete and has been twice named to the academic all-WAC squad. She was averaging 11.6 ppg and a team-high 8.1 rpg entering last night.
Reach Kyle Sakamoto at firstname.lastname@example.org.