Friday, November 27, 2015         


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Wahine continue hunt for WAC win

By Brian McInnis


No such thing as gimme games on the Western Athletic Conference road.

The Hawaii women's basketball team will try to pick up its first WAC victory today at lowly San Jose State, an outcome that is no certainty.

The Spartans were one of a few winless Division I teams until Thursday. SJSU (1-16, 1-3 WAC) knocked off visiting Idaho 63-61 at The Event Center, leaving Hawaii (6-11, 0-4) as the only team without a win in WAC play.

Road games against foes both mighty and meek continue to be a perilous proposition for second-year coach Dana Takahara-Dias and her Rainbow Wahine. They are in the midst of five straight games on the road, and so far have nothing to show after a blowout loss at Idaho and narrow defeat at Boise State.

HAWAII (6-11, 0-4 WAC) AT SAN JOSE STATE (1-16, 1-3)

» Today, 5 p.m. HST at The Event Center, San Jose, Calif.

» TV/Radio: None

» Live stats:

UH had time for a three-day respite at home to regroup academically and recharge its energy early this week. Good thing, too. This game is critical; the last-place team at the end of the regular season is left home from the WAC tournament.

"We don't take any team lightly," Takahara-Dias said. "They've got an advantage over us with home court, and we split last year. So there's much to be gained for us to play well. But we're going to take it one game at a time. We're still searching for the elusive WAC win."

The Wahine have lost five straight overall, and 14 straight WAC games on the road going back to 2008-09.

"It's more of a pride thing now," senior guard Megan Tinnin said. "It's frustrating when those games go by where you know you were so close you should've won. ... You can't get it back."

Their breakthrough nearly happened at Boise last Saturday, but a BSU record-tying 37 points from Lauren Lenhardt derailed the UH effort in a 69-63 loss. A career-high 18 points from freshman wing Shawna Kuehu, 16 points and nine rebounds from Tinnin and 14 points and six assists by point guard Keisha Kanekoa were not enough to offset the damage. Oh, and the third 20-rebound game for freshman forward Kamilah Jackson -- the second-leading rebounder in the country at 13.2 boards per game -- was in vain.

Kuehu is hoping a new emphasis on the perimeter could boost her offense and that of her often-stagnant team overall. The Punahou product hit three of five from long range against the Broncos after nailing just one in 16 previous games.

"Having an even game, a balanced game would be good for me," Kuehu said. "This year I've been working on it and it's slowly coming around."

UH continues its road odyssey at Fresno State (12-6, 3-1) on Monday and at Utah State (8-9, 2-2) on Thursday.

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