The University of Hawai`i women's basketball team fought hard all game, but it was the West Virginia Mountaineers who captured the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic title with a 59-56 win over the 'Bows. With her 10 rebounds in tonight's game, senior Kamilah Jackson became just the second Rainbow Wahine in history to ever record 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 points. Jackson earned Most Valuable Player honors after recording her third straight double-double.
Jackson scored 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Hawai`i on 6-of-9 shooting—including one trey on three attempts. She secured her milestone rebound with 5:44 left in the game. She now has 46 career double-doubles and Jackson has led the 'Bows in rebounds in every game thus far this season. She has also had the team-high in points in 4-of-5 games this year.
Fellow senior, Sydney Haydel, also scored a team-high 15 points—just one bucket shy of her career high. Haydel came out in the first half on fire, sinking all four of her field goal attempts including a 3-pointer to go with her 3-of-5 shooting from the free throw line to lead UH at the half with 12 points. She tied her career high sinking two treys in the game while also adding two rebounds and a steal.
Hawai`i battled the taller Mountaineers all night, but were just edged out on the glass, 32-to-31 rebounds. It was a total team effort on the boards with eight out of the 10 players who played all getting at least one rebounds. The 'Bows were also outscored in the paint by just two points, 22-to-20 But Hawai'i outscored WVU 12-to-9 on second chance points and 13-to-7 on bench scoring. In a defensive game on both ends, UH committed just one turnover less than their counterparts, 19-to-20.
The Rainbow Wahine held the high-scoring Mountaineers to just 59 points after they had averaged 87 in the previous two tournament games. UH also held WVU to just 41.3% shooting after they had been scoring over 51.7% for the tourney.
Hawai'i led at one point in the game, 7-5 after a Jackson layup, but the Mountaineers retook the lead on a trey by Linda Stepney and never looked back. UH kept the game close but trailed for the rest of the first half, never letting WVU get ahead by more than nine points. UH held the Mountaineers to just 37.5 shooting in the first half and the 'Bows entered the break trailing 28-24.
Hawai'i actually outscored West Virginia in the second half, 32-31 and tied the game at 38-38 with 12:56 to go on a pair of Destiny King free throws. But, then West Virginia went on a 12-to-2 run to go up 50-40 with 9:10 left in the game. UH never quite recovered although they kept fighting, cutting their deficit twice to just three points with less than a minute left in the game.
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