Rainbow Wahine win home opener behind Toeaina, Atwell

Sarah Toeaina

HONOLULU — The University of Hawai’i women’s basketball team turned in a stellar offensive performance in an 84-68 win over Northern Arizona University to open the Bank of Hawai’i Classic on Friday.

The ‘Bows (2-1) shot a season-best 46.1 percent from the field in the home-opener, and were able to slow down an NAU (0-3) offense which entered the game averaging 88.0 points per game.

Point guard Tia Kanoa tallied seven assists to orchestrate a balanced Rainbow Wahine attack that resulted in four UH double-figure scorers. Redshirt-freshman Amy Atwell led the Rainbow Wahine with 17 points, many of which came off of her four steals, and added eight rebounds. She hit 8-of-15 attempts from the field in 27 minutes off the bench.

Senior Sarah Toeaina contributed 16 points, shooting 4-of-5 from the free throw line and adding seven rebounds. Junior Lahni Salanoa hit 4-of-7 from the field, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, to add 11 points for UH, and sophomore Julissa Tago added an efficient 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

NAU’s Olivia Lucero dominated the game with 23 points, going 11-of-11 at the free throw line to lead all scorers. Kenna McDavis and Kaleigh Paplow added 14 points each for the Lumberjacks.

NAU shot 37.3 percent from the field and hit just 1-of-7 from 3-point range after hitting 8.0 3-pointers per game heading into Friday’s contest. UH held a 43-37 advantage in rebounding and outscored NAU in the paint 44-32. After coughing up nine first-half turnovers, UH took better care of the ball in the second half, finishing with 14 turnovers while forcing the Lumberjacks into 22.

The Bows will face San Diego on Nov. 19 at 5:00 p.m. USD’s win over Boise State earlier Friday makes Sunday’s game a true championship for the Bank of Hawai’i Classic title.

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