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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 12, 2006

Gueye comes up big at right time

 •  UH looks to feed off of rare road win

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

BOISE, Idaho The announcer at Taco Bell Arena mispronounced Ahmet Gueye's name during the introductions yesterday, but by game's end, the real Ahmet Gueye emerged.

Gueye had a perfect shooting night yesterday to help lead the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team to a 73-64 victory over Boise State. It was the first road victory of the season for the Rainbow Warriors.

"We had to prove to a lot of people that we could win on the road," Gueye said. "And I had to prove to a lot of people that I could play on the road."

The 6-foot-7 junior center shot 7 of 7 from the field, and finished with 14 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.

"Ahmet has to be our inside factor," Hawai'i head coach Riley Wallace said. "When he can do what he did today, it frees up the rest of the floor."

Before yesterday, Hawai'i was 0-4 on the road against Western Athletic Conference teams. In those four losses, Gueye was averaging 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

"This is my first year of traveling on the road like this," he said. "So maybe I just had to get used to it."

Gueye said Wallace and several of the Hawai'i seniors challenged him this week to increase his production on the road.

"They weren't accusing me of anything, they were just saying that I block everybody's shots at home, but not on the road," he said. "They just told me to stay aggressive, so I did that."

The proof came in the closing moments of the first half. With Hawai'i protecting a 36-34 lead, Gueye blocked two layup attempts by Boise State's Eric Lane.

Moments earlier, Gueye set a hard screen that dropped the 6-1 Lane to the court.

"I felt a little bad because I know Eric, and he's not a big guy," Gueye said. "But that's basketball. He came to my area, so I had to be aggressive."

It may have helped that Gueye was in somewhat comfortable surroundings. He was recruited by Boise State last summer, so he exchanged greetings with some of the Broncos' coaches and players before yesterday's game.

"I actually made a visit here when they were recruiting me, so I knew this gym already," Gueye said.

  • Thompson back in action: Freshman point guard Hiram Thompson got 5 minutes of reserve action yesterday. He did not score, but grabbed one rebound. Thompson missed Hawai'i's previous game because he was recovering from a concussion.

  • Early game, early departure: Yesterday's game started at 2 p.m. Mountain time (11 a.m. Hawai'i time), allowing the 'Bows to take a night flight to Fresno, Calif. They will play another WAC game at Fresno State tomorrow.

    "Normally, you don't like the afternoon games," Wallace said. "But it worked out for us this time. We get to sleep the night in Fresno and have a full day (today) to get ready."

    Reach Dayton Morinaga at dmorinaga@honoluluadvertiser.com.