Hawai’i knocks off UC Davis in Big West home opener

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HONOLULU—A 10-point fourth quarter swing paved the way for the University of Hawai’I women’s basketball team in a 65-60 win over UC Davis on Saturday afternoon at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The Rainbow Wahine (5-10, 1-1) put an end to two losing streaks with the victory. The first being a three-game skid spanning from Dec. 21 to Jan. 5, the second being a four-game two year stretch of losses to UC Davis. The Aggies (9-6, 1-1) had their six-game win streak snapped with the loss and will host Cal State Fullerton and UC Irvine in the coming week. 

“This was a fun game to be a part of,” said head coach Laura Beeman. “We had a, do your job, move on to the next play, and a focused mentality. But we did a lot of tangible things today as well, like limiting our fouls and taking care of the ball. When we put those things together, we win ball games.”

UH recorded a season-low nine turnovers in the win, along with only allowing the Aggies to attempt 10 free throws on the day. 

UH started strong accounting for a 13-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. UCD answered back over the next two quarters, walking into the fourth frame with a five-point lead at 46-41. But the play of senior point guard Tia Kanoa and junior forward Makenna Woodfolk provided a spark to lead the upstart home squad. 

With under four minutes to play, Kanoa hit a three-point bucket to pull UH within one at 58-57. UH proceeded to outscore the Aggies 8-2 in the final three minutes with every point coming from the free throw line. Junior guard Leah Salanoa hit two to take the lead, followed by Woodfolk hitting four in a row to add to the lead, and Kanoa closed it out by knocking down two of her own. As a team, UH went 18-for-22 from the charity stripe at 82 percent. 

If the final four minutes Kanoa, the 5’8 Honolulu native, snatched three rebounds, including two offensive boards to keep the Aggies at bay, while giving the ‘Bows two separate opportunities at second-chance points. 

“Tia (Kanoa) is the best rebounding point guard I’ve ever seen,” said Woodfolk. “Afterwards she tells us in the locker room, it wasn’t possible for her to pull in the rebounds if we, the post players, didn’t box out. Hearing it and seeing it makes us all want to play harder.’

 

Kanoa finished the day flirting with a triple-double accounting for 15 points, eight rebounds, and a team-high seven assists while accounting for 37 minutes of action. Woodfolk led the way in the scoring column with 19 points and four rebounds. 

The ‘Bows as a team turned in one of their better rebounding performances of the season with a plus-nine advantage at 38-29, with Salanoa wiping the boards clean with a team-high 10 rebounds. 


UH will be back on the floor of SSC on Thursday for a 7:00 p.m. HT matchup with CSUN. 

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