Calif.—(Hawaii Athletics) Four members of the resurgent University of Hawai'i women's basketball
team earned six Big West honors announced on Monday by the conference office.
Junior forwardKamilah Martin was named to
the All-Big West Conference first team while Ashleigh Karaitiana and Shawna-Lei Kuehu both earned
Honorable Mention honors. Karaitiana also made the All-Freshman Team. Kuehu was
named the league's Best Sixth Woman of the Year, while junior Sydney Haydel was voted Best
Defensive Player of the Year in the conference.
Martin led Hawai'i for the third straight season in points and rebounds. In
conference action, she averaged 15.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. She
finished UH's first season back in the Big West ranked No. 3 in conference
games in both scoring and rebounds. She recorded eight double-doubles in
league action and scored in double figures in 16-of-18 games—including the last
eight straight. She also grabbed double-figures in rebounds in 10 BWC outings.
In overall games, Martin was consistent all season, with 15.4 points and 9.8
rebounds per game. She had a career-high 29 steals and she raised her
free-throw percentage from .698 last season to .738 this season and made a
career high 149 shots from the charity stripe. Martin was a second-team All-WAC
player last year as a sophomore and she earned All-Freshman honors in the
2010-11 season. She is the first UH player to earn first-team conference honors
since Tanya Smith was named to the All-WAC first team in 2006-07. Martin is the
first UH player to earn All-Big West first team honors since Tanya Brunton in
1995-96 in Hawai'i's first go-around in the league.
Karaitiana, a 6-0 wing player from Sydney, Australia, had a solid freshman
campaign averaging 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in the Big West. She scored
double-figures in points eight times—including her career high 22 points at UC
Davis (Jan. 18). Karaitiana was the only other 'Bow to start UH's first 28
games other than Martin. Karaitiana is just the fifth player in UH history to
earn All-Big West Freshman Team honors.
Kuehu, a 5-10 junior guard from 'Aiea, O'ahu, made her return to the court after
missing the majority of last season. She has come off the bench all season and
finished the season strong, notching double-digits in points in the last six
straight games and 11 times during the conference season. Twice she tallied a
career-high 18 points this season at Pacific (Jan. 17) and at Long Beach State
(Feb. 7). She also came through with her first two career double-doubles at
LBSU and against Cal State Northridge (Mar. 2). She finished the conference
season averaging just shy of 10 points per game at 9.9 good for second on the
UH squad. She was second on the team averaging 5.1 rebounds. Kuehu led UH with
15 blocks and was third on the team with 22 steals and a .461 field goal
percentage. She is the first UH player to ever earn a "Best Sixth Player"
Haydel, a 5-8 junior guard from Woodland Hills, Calif., has been a hustling,
defensive stopper her entire career at UH. This season, she started 20
games—including all but one conference game—and was key in implementing head
coach Laura Beeman's defensive schemes as
she locked down on opposing teams' while wreaking havoc on their offenses. She
leads UH with a career-high 32 steals overall and 25 in conference. She is the
first UH player to ever earn a "Best Defensive Player" award.
Hawai'i has turned their program around under Beeman. The Rainbow Wahine
currently have a 17-12 overall record and a 13-5 record in conference tying for
second in the Big West with Cal Poly. It is the 'Bows' best conference record
and highest conference finish since Vince Goo's 2001-02 team finished second in
the WAC. Cal Poly had the tie-breaker over UH because they swept top-seed
Pacific this year. UH earned the third seed and a first round bye in this
week's Big West tournament and will face the "lowest remaining seed" on
Wednesday, March 13 at 6:00 p.m. (PT) (3:00 pm HST). The game will be broadcast
live on OCSports (Ch. 16) and on ESPN 1420 am.