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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, November 5, 2006

UH-Manoa dominates, 83-50

UH men's basketball photos

By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer

UH-Manoa's Matt Gibson found an open teammate during the first half against UH-Hilo last night.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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UH-Manoa's Riley Luettgerodt drove to the basket around the screen of a teammate during last night's game with UH-Hilo.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Emphasizing the big in its role as big brother, the University of Hawai'i-Manoa men's basketball team defeated Hawai'i-Hilo, 83-50, in an exhibition game last night.

A crowd of 3,012 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the Rainbow Warriors dominate from start to finish against the NCAA Division II Vulcans.

"I thought everybody got the jitters off, everybody got a look," Hawai'i head coach Riley Wallace said. "It was exactly what we want out of a scrimmage."

The result and statistics will not count for either team. However, the 'Bows are hoping last night's effort will carry into the regular season, which starts on the road Friday at UNLV.

"We didn't run too much of our stuff and we found a way to come out with a pretty convincing victory," Hawai'i senior guard Matt Lojeski said. "So I think we're somewhat pleased with it."

Lojeski scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting to lead a balanced offense. Junior forward P.J. Owsley added 10 points and seven rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.

Junior point guard Matt Gibson contributed 10 points, six assists and five rebounds.

"As long as we stay together as a unit, it's going to be a fun season," Gibson said.

All 15 'Bows in uniform saw action, and 13 scored.

"Overall, I thought they played well together," Wallace said. "They all seem to like each other, and they were looking for each other. There was no selfishness on the floor at all, and that's important, especially at this stage."

The 'Bows took control early and never let up. Bobby Nash grabbed the opening tip and then raced to the basket for a 2-0 lead. On the next Hawai'i possession, Stephen Verwers threw down a powerful dunk. Less than four minutes into the game, the 'Bows had a 10-0 lead, and it only got worse for the Vulcans.

"You can't simulate size," Hawai'i-Hilo head coach Jeff Law said. "That will be the tallest team we see all year, so we can put it in the memory bank and just get better off that."

The 'Bows, who have five players 6 feet 8 and taller, grabbed 50 rebounds. Ahmet Gueye, a 6-8 senior, led the way with eight rebounds.

The Vulcans, who do not have any players taller than 6-7, finished with 33 rebounds. They also shot just 30.2 percent from the field, while the 'Bows shot 46.6 percent.

The 'Bows took a 42-19 lead at intermission, and increased it to 49-19 moments into the second half.

Prior to last night's game, Wallace was concerned about his team's ability to run the offensive schemes effectively.

But as Law said of the 'Bows: "They did not look behind tonight. I told (Wallace) we were going to be a good remedy for him in that regard. They were sharp."

Owsley, one of five new recruits, said: "I think we showed (Wallace) something showed him that we're willing to work for him; get after it."

Wallace said there was a reason why the 'Bows ran just two offensive plays over and over last night, and stayed in a man-to-man defense the entire game.

"I didn't want to run any other stuff because we have to give this film to (UNLV)," he said.

Michael Martin led the Vulcans with 13 points. Kalaheo High graduate Sam Wilhoite added 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots.

Reach Dayton Morinaga at dmorinaga@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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