Four Rainbow Wahine Earn Six Big West Honors

IRVINE, 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" award.
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.