After spending the last five days atop the Big West, the University of Hawaii women’s basketball team lost its lead in the conference standings after falling to UC San Diego 62-60 on Thursday night at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Wahine fall to 12-9 overall and 8-3 in Big West Conference play, while the Tritons improve to 10-13 overall and 7-7 in Big West games.
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Looking to avenge a 24-point loss at the hands of the Tritons that opened conference play back on Jan. 13, Hawaii had an inauspicious start after UCSD jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the opening minutes, an advantage that grew to 20-8 for the Tritons by the time the first quarter buzzer sounded.
After going an ice-cold 2-for-15 in the first quarter, UH trailed by as much as 15 in the second quarter and carried a 29-18 deficit with it into the break.
UCSD led by as much as 46-30 with a little more than a minute remaining in the third quarter, but the Rainbow Wahine came all the way back to tie up the contest with 26 seconds remaining on Kelsie Imai’s layup. Julia Macabuhay scored on a short range shot with less than two seconds remaining, and the ‘Bows were unable to get one last shot off.
Macabuhay had a team-high 20 points for the Tritons, while Sydney Brown had a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds.
For Hawaii, Daejah Phillips had a game-high 24 points. Reigning Big West Conference Player of the Week Amy Atwell was held scoreless in the first quarter and finished with a season-low four points.
Next up for the Rainbow Wahine is a pivotal conference matchup against UC Irvine, the current conference leader at 15-9 overall and 10-3 in conference games. Tipoff on Saturday at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center is set for 3:30 p.m.