Broncos women topple UH, 83-75
Boise State proved too much for a visiting University of Hawai'i women's basketball team that played without three suspended players yesterday.
The Broncos' Jessica Thompson and Jackie Lee combined for 41 points in an 83-75 Western Athletic Conference victory before 588 at the Taco Bell Arena.
After winning eight consecutive games, Hawai'i lost its fourth straight, and dropped to 10-6 overall and 1-4 in the WAC. Boise State improved to 11-7 and 3-3.
Hawai'i suited up nine players yesterday after coach Jim Bolla suspended starting forward Pam Tambini and starting post player Alofa Toiaivao, and reserve guard Saundra Cariaga indefinitely because of what he called "violation of team policy."
"We'll address it," said Bolla, who is in his second season as UH coach. "Once we get it resolved, it will be over with just like any of our other issues, and we'll move forward."
Bolla said he sent the trio back to Honolulu yesterday morning before the Boise State game. He declined to say what rule the players violated, citing school and privacy issues, but said the infraction happened "late" after Saturday's afternoon game at Fresno State.
The Rainbow Wahine are scheduled to return today and will practice tonight, Bolla said. Hawai'i hosts Utah State on Thursday.
Bolla said the suspended players are not allowed to practice with the team, and added "When you're suspended, you lose all your privileges on being on the team."
In yesterday's game, Hawai'i's Amy Sanders scored a team-high 20 points, Janevia Taylor added 19 points before fouling out, and Brittany Grice had 18 points and nine rebounds. Taylor made five 3-pointers.
Boise State's Jackie Lee added 20 points, including 16 in the second half. Michelle Hessing added 10 points and Jackie Thompson 11 rebounds. Jessica Thompson had five 3-pointers and 21 points.
Boise State made 10 of 19 3-point attempts.
The smaller Broncos outrebounded the Rainbow Wahine, 49-28, including 17-3 on the offensive glass in the second half. Hawai'i entered the game leading the conference in rebounding, averaging 46.5 per contest.
"We got outplayed again," said Bolla, whose team lost at Fresno State, 77-52, on Saturday. "They killed us on the boards. At one point during the second half, they had 20 more rebounds than us. We couldn't even block-out on a free throw."
Grice's basket gave Hawai'i a 73-70 lead with just under seven minutes left in the game, but that was the last basket the Rainbow Wahine would get as the Broncos finished the game on a 13-2 run.
Lee's 3-pointer tied the score at 73, and after a foul shot by Hawai'i's Tanya Smith, the Broncos took the lead for good on Hessing's free throws, 75-74, with 5:04 left.
Lee scored four of Boise State's final eight points, and Hawai'i could only muster a foul shot by Grice with 14.8 seconds left.
Hawai'i trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half, but managed to take three leads in the second half.
"We need to start getting more physical with people," Bolla said after the team's 0-2 road trip. "In both games, we had a significant size advantage on them, and our inside people couldn't take advantage of that."