The University of Hawai’i women’s basketball team scored the first seven points of the game against UC Irvine on Thursday night, and never trailed en route to its third win in four games, a 79-62 victory in the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Anteaters (3-17, 1-5 Big West) dug out of the early hole to tie the game at 17-17 in the second quarter, but Hawai’i closed the door with a 26-5 run that extended into the third quarter and put the Rainbow Wahine (7-11, 3-3 Big West) ahead by 21.
Lahni Salanoa scored 18 points for the Rainbow Wahine, one shy of her career-high, while Sarah Toeaina finished with 13 points and Leah Salanoa added 12 off the bench. Briana Harris made up for a 1-for-7 shooting performance by racking up a career-high six assists. Makenna Woodfolk came up one point shy a double-double, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds, and all 10 Hawai’i players who appeared in the game scored at least two points.
The Rainbow Wahine shot 51 percent from the field, connecting on 30-of-59 attempts, and hit 7-of-18 3-pointsrs. The Anteaters, meanwhile hit 12-of-29 3-pointers but shot just 33 percent from the field for the game, hitting 19-of-58 overall.
Hawai’i owned the paint, outscoring UC Irvine 36-10, and held an 18-13 advantage in second-chance points. The Rainbow Wahine also won the rebounding battle 39-32.
UH built its lead to as many as 25 points, 77-52, with 3:26 to play before the Anteaters used a 10-2 run to trim the final margin. Andee Ritter went 5-for-11 from 3-point range to lead UC Irvine with 19 points, while Mckenzie Piper added 15 points off the bench for the Anteaters.
The Rainbow Wahine return to action against Cal Poly on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the Stan Sheriff Center. Hawai’i picked up an 87-79 win at Cal Poly last week.