Rainbow Wahine win first regular season conference title since 1998, Earn top seed in BWC Tourney


The University of Hawai’i women’s basketball team captured its first conference title since 1998 after rallying past Long Beach State, 47-46 Thursday at The Pyramid.

The Rainbow Wahine (20-7, 12-2 BWC) extended their win streak to 12 games and with coupled with a UC Davis loss, clinched the outright conference title and No. 1 seed in the Big West Conference Tournament.

Shawna-Lei Kuehu led the ‘Bows with 16 points and in the process, moved into 10th on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,187. The senior also had eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals. Ashleigh Karaitiana had a game-high 13 rebounds to help the Rainbow Wahine dominate the boards, 44-27.

UH last won a share of a conference title was during the 1997-98 season when the Rainbow Wahine won the Western Athletic Conference Pacific Division with a 13-1 record. Prior to that, Hawai’i won back-to-back Big West titles in 1992-93 and ’93-94.

The ‘Bows also reached the 20-win mark for the first time since the 2001-02 squad went 23-8. Regardless of the outcome of the remainder of the season, UH is assured a postseason berth by virtue of winning the regular season. The Rainbow Wahine qualified for the Women’s NIT in each of head coach Laura Beeman’s first two seasons.

More recap to come.

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