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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 2, 2010

Rainbow Warriors fall to Idaho in WAC opener, 59-52

Advertiser Staff

The University of Hawai'i men's basketball team opened its Western Athletic Conference schedule with a 59-52 loss to Idaho on Saturday.

The Rainbow Warriors cut a 14-point deficit down to three in the closing minutes, but could not overtake the Vandals.

A crowd of 3,609 at the Stan Sheriff Center watched the 'Bows fall to 7-7 overall and 0-1 in the WAC. Idaho improved to 8-4 and 1-0.

Paul Campbell led the 'Bows with 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting. However, he was the only Hawai'i player to shoot better than 50 percent from the field.

The 'Bows finished with a .367 team field goal percentage, including just .125 (2 of 16) from 3-point range. Idaho finished with a .476 field goal percentage, including .438 (7 of 16) from 3-point range.

Roderick Flemings, who sat out the last two games with a bruised knee, added 10 points for Hawai'i.

Dwain Williams, who was averaging 28.0 points per game in the three previous games, was held to five points. He shot 1 of 10 from the field, and all his only field goal came in the closing seconds.

Also, forward Petras Balocka had his worst game of the season, finishing with zero points and one rebound in seven minutes. He was averaging 10.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game prior to the game.

The game was close early, and Hawai'i's last lead was 20-19 with 7:20 remaining.

The Vandals went on a 14-4 run in the final six minutes of the half to take a 36-25 lead into intermission. Steffan Johnson scored on a 3-point bank shot just before the buzzer sounded to end the half.

Idaho increased its lead to as many 14 early in the second half, before the 'Bows made it exciting down the stretch.

An 11-2 run by the 'Bows cut the Idaho lead to 45-42 with 6:26 remaining. Flemings scored six during the surge, including a breakaway dunk.

That was as close as it would get. The Vandals sealed it with a 7-1 surge late.

Mac Hopson led Idaho with 24 points on 8 of 11 shooting.

The 'Bows will continue WAC play on Monday by hosting Boise State. Fresno State beat Boise State on Saturday, 71-68.