December 29, 2012 at 8:06 AM HST - Updated August 29 at 5:33 AM
HONOLULU (Hawaii News Now) - The University of Hawaii women's basketball team (3-6, 0-0 Big West) pulled away to defeat LIU Brooklyn (3-6, 0-0 NEC), 52-33 on the opening day of the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Invitational. Kamilah Martin scored a game-high 14 points with a team-high seven rebounds—six of which came on the offensive glass. Diane Moore was the only other Rainbow Wahine to score in double-figures, scoring all 10 of her points in the first half. In the win, the 'Bows tied an all-time program record, committing just four turnovers for the game while forcing the Blackbirds into 21 miscues on the court.
After a sluggish beginning to the first half, the Rainbow Wahine started to inch their way in front of a physical LIU team after an early see-saw battle that saw three ties and four lead changes within the first 11 minutes of the game. But after Moore sank the first of two treys with 9:25 left in the first half that started a 10-to-0 run. UH never looked back and built as big as a 24 point lead in the second half with 5:31 left on the clock. Hawaii ended the first half on a 7-0 run, highlighted by a 3-point shot sunk by Vicky Tagalicod as time wound down on the shot clock with :04 left in the half.
Hawaii edged the Blackbirds on the glass, 45-to-44, but doubled up on LIU in offensive boards, 20-to-10. UH was able to convert those offensive rebounds into 18 second-chance points. The 'Bows also had a 28-to-18 advantage in points in the paint and a 15-to-2 advantage in points off of turnovers. Hawaii's bench also outscored LIU, 21-to-10. The Rainbow Wahine held the Blackbirds to just a 29.5 field goal percentage and just 13 made field goals for the game.
Martin has led UH in rebounds in every game this season and her six offensive rebounds was a season-high for the junior forward. She was 6-of-12 from the floor with three assists and two steals.
The Rainbow Wahine are now at full force with sophomore center Kalei Adolpho making her first appearance in a DI basketball game this season and Shawna-Lei Kuehu returning after an injury has held her out the past seven games. Adolpho joins the basketball team after helping the women's volleyball team capture a Big West title, advancing to the NCAA second round. Adolpho scored two points with six rebounds in her third career start. Kuehu, who played sparingly in the second half, did not score but she was able to grab a rebound, make an assist, block a shot and take a charge in just six minutes of action. Kuehu suffered a concussion in the season opener at San Francisco and tried to play in UH's home opener, but has been out of commission since the UT Martin game.
It also marked the first start of the season for Sydney Haydel. It was her 22nd career start as a Rainbow Wahine. She scored six points with five rebounds, three assists, and two steals in a team-high 30 minutes of action.
Hawaii will play its second game of the tournament tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. against Cincinnati (7-4, 0-0 Big East) who fell to Alabama (8-3, 0-0 SEC) in the tourney's opening game, 58-47. The Crimson Tide battle LIU at 2:30 pm. The UH men's basketball team will open their Big West season following the women's game Saturday night. The men will play Cal State Northridge at 7:30 p.m.