Rainbow Wahine pack their bags for crazy travel week

Shawna-Lei Kuehu

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—The newly crowned Big West regular season champion University of Hawai’i women’s basketball team enters its final week of conference games. The Rainbow Wahine will first travel to play at Santa Barbara on Thursday, Mar. 5 and then have a quick turn-around, returning  home for their Senior Night game on Saturday, March 7 against Cal State Fullerton at the Stan Sheriff Center. It will be the final home game for seniors Shawlina Segovia, Morgan Mason, Ashleigh Karaitiana, and Shawna-Lei Kuehu. Fans are encouraged to wear white as Saturday’s home game is a White Out Game. Fans are also encouraged to donate their new or used sneakers as the team is running a sneaker drive for the Youth Outreach program which helps homeless youth on O’ahu.

For the Rainbow Wahine, it is their first conference title since the ‘Bows won the Western Athletic Pacific Division crown in 1997-98 under head coach Vince Goo. It also marks UH’s third Big West title after Goo led the ‘Bows to back-to-back first place finishes in 1992-93 and 1993-94.

Hawaii’s 12-game win streak is the longest during head coach Laura Beeman‘s three-year tenure. It is also the longest since UH won 19-straight games under then head coach Vince Goo in 1997-98. Hawai’i also has a 14-game conference home game win streak dating back to last season going as well.  The Rainbow Wahine, who are now 20-7 overall and 12-2 in the Big West, hit the 20-win mark for the 13th time in school history. It is the first time UH has had 20 wins since the 2001-02 season when the ‘Bows went 23-8 overall. With Hawai’i wrapping up the regular season title, the ‘Bows are guaranteed a third-straight post-season berth. The Big West regular season champions receive a spot in the WNIT and the BWC Tournament champions get the automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.

Last week against the 49ers, Kuehu came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points with eight rebounds, two blocked shots, two steals and four assists.  Fellow senior Ashleigh Karaitiana pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds with five points, three assists and two steals. Destiny King added nine points of 4-of-7 shooting  with six rebounds. Her last basket of the game proved to be the game winner in her homecoming to Long Beach, Calif.

Kuehu continues to lead UH overall in points (310); points per game (12.4); rebounds (167); rebounds per game (6.7); assists (tied with Ashleigh Karaitiana at 66); blocked shots (33); and steals (38). Her points per game, rebounds per game, assists, blocks and steals are all career-highs for the sixth year senior. Karaitiana is second on the team with 10.3 points a game. She leads UH with 37 3-pointers made and is second on the team with 34 steals.

UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (2-25, 2-12 Big West)
Do not let UC Santa Barbara’s record fool you. The Gauchos have won two of their last three ball games and are always a tough team to defend. Last week, the Gauchos posted a 57-52 victory at UC Davis. The Gauchos’ defense stifled the Aggie offense to just 35 percent shooting while forcing 21 turnovers. Jasmine Ware scored a team-high 14 points, while Kristine Brance added 10. Overall, Ware leads UCSB averaging 8.7 points per game while Onome Jemerigbe is right behind averaging 8.4 points per game. Clair Watkins leads UCSB with 5.5 rebounds per game.

Cal State Fullerton Titans (10-17, 4-10 Big West)
The Titans have struggled in conference, losing eight of their last nine games. But they’ve battled throughout the season posting a 10-17 overall record and 4-10 mark in conference. Fullerton is led by Chante Miles’ 20.2 points per game who also has the team-high of 116 assists and 40 steals. Miles is a scoring machine, making 76 treys in 202 attempts for a .376 3-pt field goal percentage. At the free throw line she has also done damage, making 108-of-130 shots from the charity stripe for an .831 free-throw percentage. Kathleen Iwoha is also averging double digits in points with 12.0 per game. She leads the Titans with 8.0 rebounds per game.

Game 28 Information
Who: Hawai’i (20-7, 12-2 Big West) vs. UC Santa Barbara (2-25, 2-12 Big West)
When: Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 7:00 pm (PT)
Where: Thunderdome (6,000) – Santa Barbara, Calif.
Audio/Video Webcast: An audio and video live stream of the game will be available at www.ucsbgauchos.com.
Live Stats: Live in-game stats will be available at www.ucsbgauchos.com.
Head Coaches: Hawai’i’s Laura Beeman is 54-35  in her third season at the helm of the Rainbow Wahine. Prior to UH, Beeman recorded a 390-110 record at Mt. San Antonio College (JuCo). Carlene Mitchell is in her fourth year as head coach at UCSB. She has a 43-80 career record all with the Gauchos.
Series History: Hawai’i has a 23-13 record against the Gauchos. Last season, UH swept the series winning in Santa Barbara, 63-60 (Feb. 6, 2014) and at home in Honolulu, on March 6, 73-60. Earlier this season, UH defeated UCSB in Honolulu, 60-43 on Feb. 5.

Game 29 Information
Who: Hawai’i (20-7, 12-2 Big West) vs. Cal State Fullerton (10-17, 4-10 Big West)
When: Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm (HT)
Where: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) – Honolulu, O’ahu
Promotions: The University of Hawaii Federal Credit Union is the game sponsor on “Senior Night” and will distribute 350 rally towels and 700 women’s basketball team photos. Fans are encouraged to register at the sports marketing table inside Gate A for the chance to win an iPad Mini at halftime. Also, UHFCU will award plaques to the seniors during a special “Senior Night” presentation following the game. UH Kids’ Club members will join the players on the court for the pre-game festivities. There will also be an autograph session following the game for fans at Gate B. Fans are encouraged to wear WHITE as this game was designated a “White-Out” game. Fans are also encouraged to donate their new or used sneakers to the Youth Outreach program for homeless youth on O’ahu.
Television: UH’s game against UC Irvine will be broadcast on OCSports statewide on channels 16 (SD) and 1015 (HD). Jim Leahey (play-by-play) and Lori Santi (color) will be handling the broadcast duties.
Streaming Video: Live video streaming will be available on bigwest.tv.
Radio: NBC Sports Radio AM 1500 will carry Saturday’s game live with Dave Kawada (play-by-play) and Tiff Wells (color).
Audio Webcast: Live audio streaming will be available on www.nbcsportsradiohawaii.com.
Livestats: Live in-game stats are available at HawaiiAthletics.com.
Head coaches: Head Coaches: Hawai’i’s Laura Beeman is 54-35  in her third season at the helm of the Rainbow Wahine. Prior to UH, Beeman recorded a 390-110 record at Mt. San Antonio College (JuCo). Cal State Fullerton is led by Daron Park who is in his second year with a 21-34 career record.
Series History: Hawai’i and Cal State Fullerton are dead even at 15-15 overall. Earlier this season on Feb. 14, UH defeated the Titans in Fullerton, 54-43.

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