Lahni Salanoa scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Hawai’i women’s basketball team to a 60-50 win over Cal State Fullerton in the Stan Sheriff Center on Thursday night.
The Rainbow Wahine improve to 5-10 on the season and 1-2 in Big West Conference play with the win, while the Titans drop to 3-13 and 0-3 in the Big West.
Salanoa surpassed her previous career high of 13 points by going 6-of-13 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free throw line, and added five rebounds and a block in the game. Senior Briana Harris provided a spark off the bench, adding 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals. Harris went 5-for-7 from the field and hit 4-of-7 free throws.
The game was close throughout the first half. The Titans took a 9-8 lead after the first quarter before Hawai’i evened the score, 24-24, by halftime. The Rainbow Wahine, however, dominated the third quarter, using a 13-0 run that lasted a majority of the period to outscore the Titans 15-6 in the quarter and take the lead for good.
The Titans narrowed the gap to six points in the fourth quarter when Dhanyel Johnson’s layup made the score 52-46 with 2:21 to play, but Hawai’i went 10-for-12 from the free throw line in the game’s final 97 seconds to seal the victory.
The Titans shot 44 percent from the field in the game, connecting on 21-of-48 attempts despite going 0-for-15 from 3-point range. Hawai’i shot 36 percent from the field and hit 5-of-22 3-point attempts.
Hawai’i held a 34-33 rebounding advantage in the game and was particularly active on the offensive glass, where the ‘Bows out-rebounded the Titans 15-10, leading to Hawai’i’s 15 second-chance points.
Despite committing six turnovers in the first quarter, Hawai’i finished the game with just 12 turnovers to match a season-low. Cal State Fullerton, meanwhile, committed 21 turnovers in the game, aiding Hawai’i’s 19-10 advantage in points off of turnovers.
The Rainbow Wahine have a full week before returning to action at Cal Poly on Jan. 19. Hawai’i will also visit UC Santa Barbara on Jan. 21 before returning to the Stan Sheriff Center for six out of eight games, beginning Jan. 26 against UC Irvine.