By Liz Chun - bio | email
MANOA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dana Takahara Dias has the UH women's basketball team off to a good start. Hawaii opened up the season with a win on the road. UH beat UC Riverside 63-58 with the Rainbow Wahine netting nine straight points in the final three minutes of play. Dita Liepkalne lead the way scoring 12 points. Hawaii continues on the road with a game at UCLA on Thursday.
The UH men's basketball team on the other hand fell short in college basketball's tip off madness in a national TV broadcast. A last minute rally by Hawaii was enough to keep fans awake at 1:00 AM Tuesday morning. Unfortunately it wasn't enough to capture the Rainbow Classic title after making it to the finals for the first time since 2004.
Guard Dwain Williams came out on fire. The junior transfer scored 14 of the Rainbow Warriors first 20 points. Williams finished with 17 but he also had 5-assists. One of those assists going to Rod Flemings on the alley-oop, that had the home crowd in a frenzy. Flemings finished with 12-points and 9-boards.
UH trailed by two points at the break. In the 2nd half, Hawaii went scoreless for nearly nine minutes allowing Northern Colorado to go on a 19-0 run and take a 17-point lead. But Hawaii wasn't done, Jeremy Lay scored 12 of his 18 points in the final two minutes of the half. UH cut the deficit to two. The Bears would eventually hold on for the 81-75 victory.
What did stand out is the performance of Hawaii's point guards. Williams and Lay combined for 35-points and 7-assists. Head Coach Bob Nash says both will improve with reps in the system. "Those guys haven't had a lot of reps in practice because of injuries and then we put them in the heat of the battle against a good team that can pressure them and we ask them to be successful and to see all the cuts and to see all those things. They just don't have the timing of it yet. We'll look at film today and discuss all those things. Then we'll get ready for BYU who can do similar things to us," said Nash.