The University of Hawai'i women's basketball team (3-1) pulled away from Ole Miss after a hard fought first half to win, 79-63 in UH's second game of the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic. Kamilah Jackson recorded her second straight double-double with a season-high 30 points to go with a game-high 10 rebounds while Shawna-Lei Kuehu added a career-high 19 points en route to the 'Bows third straight win on Saturday afternoon at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Jackson finished the game just one point shy of tying her career-high of 31 points that she set as a freshman against CSU Bakersfield (12/29/10). She did tie her career-high for made field goals as she was an efficient 11-of-13 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free throw line. Jackson's 30 points pushes her past Kendis Leeburg (1994-97) for No. 6 on UH's all-time scoring list. Leeburg scored 1,266 points in her four year career. Jackson now has scored 1,276 points. Her 10 rebounds puts her career total at 992 leaving her just eight shy of being only the second UH player to record 1,000 rebounds. It was the third straight game that Jackson has led UH in scoring and fourth that she's been the high rebounder.
Kuehu was two rebounds shy of a double-double of her own. Kuehu was 8-of-12 in field goals and 3-of-5 from the free throw line for the game. She corralled eight rebounds with an assist, a block, and a steal to fill out her stat line.
Destiny Kingalso had a strong game, who played a season-high 26 minutes with eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal.
As a team, the Rainbow Wahine out-rebounded the Rebels, 45-to-34 while shooting a season-high 47.4% from the floor and a season-high 79.3% from free throw line. UH's defense held Ole Miss to 34.3% shooting. The 'Bows outscored the Rebels 44-to-32 in the paint but Ole Miss had the edge in points off of turnovers, 19-to-17. It was a total team effort as all 11 players suited saw action in the game.
It was a tale of two different halves. In the first half, the two teams see-sawed back and forth for 10 lead changes and four ties. Neither team could gain much traction, but with Hawai'i holding onto a four point lead at 24-20, the Rebels started charging, going on an 11-0 run to regain a seven point lead at 31-24. But the 'Bows would battle right back to go on an 11-0 run of their own to take a 34-31 lead with 24-seconds left in the half. But the Rebels' Tia Faleru converted on an old-fashioned three-point play with four seconds left to tie the game just before the half.
After the break, Sydney Haydel hit a 3-pointer to start the 'Bows off with a bang and Hawai'i never trailed again. Later, UH went on an 11-to-2 run and then a 12-to-4 run to build their biggest lead of the game at 18 points at 65-47. The closest the Rebels would be able to get to UH was 13 points for the rest of the game.
The Rebels were led by Valencia McFarland who scored 14 points and Diara Morre who had 11 points. Three Ole Miss players were tied for their team-lead with seven rebounds apiece.
It is the first UH win over an Southeastern opponent since, ironically, the 'Bows defeated Mississippi in 2010 in a thrilling double-overtime win on Nov. 27, 2010 in the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown. Hawai`i is now 5-11 against SEC schools.
Hawai'i concludes the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic against West Virginia, who is also 2-0 in the tourney after defeating Washington State, 88-66. The 'Bows and the Mountaineers will square off in the tournament finale at 5:00 p.m. after WSU battles Ole Miss at 2:30 p.m.
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