SEATTLE, Wash.—The University of Hawai’i women’s basketball team fell in the opening round of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament against Washington, 67-50 on Friday night at the Alaska Airlines Arena at the Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The Rainbow Wahine finish their second-straight season with a 17-14 overall record.
UH battled on the glass all game and out-rebounded the taller Huskies, 59-to-48. It was the 23rd time this season that Hawai’i outrebounded their opponents and the 59 rebounds was a season-high for Hawai’i and the most for UH since securing 59 at Boise State on Jan. 15, 2011. But on offense, the ‘Bows struggled all game, shooting a season-low 26.6% from the floor (17-for-64). UH also shot just 14-of-25 from the free throw line as a team. The Huskies led the game from start to finish. Hawai’i edged Washington in points in the paint 28-to-26 and outscored the Huskies, 26-to-2 in bench scoring. But UW scored 19 points off of UH’s 21 turnovers and also scored 18 second-chance points compared to the ‘Bows nine and 12 respectively.
Both teams struggled shooting in the first half, with UH at 29.6% (8-for-27) and UW at 30.0% (12-for-40) from the floor. Destiny King led UH into the break with six points while Ashleigh Karaitiana and Morgan Mason added five points apiece. Karaitiana had a team-high six rebounds after the first half and finished with a team-best nine boards. Hawai’i trailed early, 9-2, but then went on an 8-to-1 run to tie the game on a Kalei Adolpho jumper at 10-10 with 10:56 left. Later after falling behind by five points, UH rallied again to pull within a point at 21-20 on a Karaitiana trey with 4:36 on the clock. But the Huskies went into halftime with a 34-to-25 lead.
Hawai’i was led by King who scored 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor and 5-of-6 shooting from the free throw line. She also chipped in with six rebounds and a steal.
Senior Kamilah Jackson came off the bench to add 10 points, eight rebounds and an assist. Jackson finished her standout career with 1,548 points and 1,176 rebounds. She is just the second UH player to lead her team in points and rebounds all four seasons and finishes her career ranked No. 4 in the UH record book in career points and No. 2 in career rebounds. Jackson suffered an injury against UC Riverside on Feb. 13 and missed the next seven games. She came off the bench in the last two against Cal Poly in the Big West tournament and tonight at Washington.
Hawai’i had their season come to an end for the second straight year in the first round of the WNIT. Last season, UH fell at San Diego in the tourney opener, 49-61. The Rainbow Wahine have appeared in the WNIT eight times and now has a 5-10 record in the tournament. The ‘Bows have bowed out in the first round in their last four straight appearances. Hawai’i has also played in five NCAA tournaments.
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*