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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sensley had huge assist on 3-pointer

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. It was a shot for the win and redemption.

Julian Sensley got both to lead the University of Hawai'i men's basketball team to a 61-60 victory over San Jose State yesterday at The Event Center.

Sensley's 3-pointer from 23 feet away with 2.2 seconds remaining was the game-winning shot, and made up for his unforced turnover on Hawai'i's previous possession.

"I told Big Matt (Gipson) if I get a good look, I'm going to knock the shot down," Sensley said.

San Jose State head coach George Nessman expressed amazement after the game, but the shot personified the new-and-improved Sensley.

"That's something I work on every day, coming off picks and hitting shots," he said. "I was able to get open."

There is no category for a team assist in the boxscore, but Sensley said the 'Bows deserved one on his final shot. Among the other four 'Bows on the court for the play:

  • Point guard Deonte Tatum brought the ball upcourt and made the pass to Sensley.

    "That's a normal set we run," Tatum said. "We've been running it all year. It was just good execution and a big-time shot by Julian."

  • Center Chris Botez made a timely cut to the basket, opening a space for Sensley to fill.

  • Forward Ahmet Gueye set a screen that allowed Sensley to separate from San Jose State's Jared Cozad for the split-second he needed to make the shot.

  • Shooting guard Matt Lojeski set up away from Sensley as another 3-point option, spreading the San Jose State defense.

    But ultimately, it was Sensley who made the shot, even on what could be considered an off-game by his standards. He finished with 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting, although he was 3 of 5 from 3-point range.

    "He's been an All-WAC player, no question about it because of the way he's played for us down the stretch," said Hawai'i head coach Riley Wallace.

    Yesterday was Sensley's 14th consecutive game with double-figure points. He is also 13 of 18 from 3-point range in his last three games.

    "I thought we made him earn every one of them," Nessman said of Sensley. "And he earned that (last) one. It wasn't like he got a wide-open look. He had to extend his body up over the top of a defender right on him and fade backwards."

  • Finishing at home: The 'Bows are scheduled to return to Honolulu today. They will close the regular season with home games against New Mexico State Thursday and Louisiana Tech Saturday.

  • Rare road sweep: Hawai'i improved to 3-7 on the road this season with its sweep of Idaho and San Jose State on this trip. The last time the 'Bows swept a two-game WAC trip was during the 2003-04 season.

    After a 10-game road losing streak, Hawai'i is now 3-1 in its last four road games.

  • Eight helping hands: Eight players saw action for Hawai'i in yesterday's game, and each of the eight got at least one assist. The 'Bows finished with 17 assists.

    Reach Dayton Morinaga at dmorinaga@honoluluadvertiser.com.