DAVIS, Calif.— The University of Hawai’i women’s basketball team made a statement on Thursday night at the University Credit Union Center with a 70-62 victory over UC Davis in the Big West opener.
The Rainbow Wahine (3-7, 1-0) picked up their second consecutive win and the program’s first win at UCD since January 22nd, 2015. The Aggies (4-7, 0-1) have dropped two in a row against UH dating back to last season and have lost three of the previous four games against their conference rival.
UH began the game in a slump, hitting just 33% from the floor and being outscored 23-12 in the first 10 minutes. The second quarter told a different tale as UH went on a 13-3 run to take a 27-26 lead, followed by the Aggies countering for a 35-32 lead at the half.
Spread between seven different scores, the ‘Bows outscored the home squad 17-10 in the third frame, including a 15-0 run to begin the quarter. After regaining the lead in the third quarter, UH never allowed the Aggies in the driver’s seat, despite bringing the game to a 49-49 tie with 8:45 left in regulation. UH leaned on its stellar free throw shooting in the final eight-plus minutes as they went a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe. The sophomore combo of Olivia Davies and Daejah Phillips each went four-of-four from the line to hold off the UCD comeback for the final.
Four players notched double-digit scoring games as sophomore guard Lily Wahinekapu led the way with a game-high 17 points while pulling down seven rebounds in 32 minutes of play. Graduate center Kallin Spiller picked up her second double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. Both sophomore forward Nnenna Orji and Phillips added 10 points apiece.
As a team, UH shot 41% (23-of-56) from the floor while hitting 83% (20-24) from the free throw line. Compared to UCD, shooting 36% and 74%, respectively. The ‘Bows controlled the rebounding battle, with Spiller leading the way, combining for a 39-36 advantage. Undoubtedly the most significant advantage came in turnovers as UH followed a season-worst performance against San Jose State with 27 miscues by allowing only nine turnovers against UCD.
UH will stay on the road, closing out a three-game road swing and the 2022 calendar year with a stop at Cal Poly on Saturday. The ‘Bows took care of business in San Luis Obispo last season with a convincing 24-point victory. ‘Bows and Mustangs are set to tip at noon HT.
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