Rainbow Wahine string together consecutive Big West wins
UH is 10-7 this season
DAVIS, Calif-The University of Hawai'i women's basketball team came back from 10 points down in the second half to defeat UC Davis, 58-53. Destiny King tied her career-high with 17 points--13 of which came in the second half alone. Ashleigh Karaitiana added 13 points with three 3-pointers while Megan Huff pulled down a career- and game-high 13 rebounds. Hawai'i improved to 10-7 overall and evened its Big West record at 2-2. UC Davis fell to 8-9 overall and 3-2 in conference at The Pavilion on Thursday night.
Defensively, Hawai'i worked hard to hold the Aggies to 12 points under their season average of 65.3 points per game. UC Davis was ranked No. 4 in the NCAA in three-point percentage (.393) and No. 10 in 3-pointers per game (8.6), but the 'Bows challenged the Aggies all game, holding them to 33.3% from behind the arch and to just 3-of-9 from 3-point range.
In the first half, both team's offenses went through some scoring lapses, UH but ended the period trailing by just three points. Karaitiana drained a 3-pointer with three seconds left on the clock, and UH entered the break trailing UCD, 26-23. Huff and Karaitiana led UH into the half with five points apiece. Huff led the Rainbow Wahine with six rebounds and two blocked shots while Karaitiana led UH with three assists. On defense, UH held the Aggies to just 1-for-3 shooting from 3-point-land in the first 20 minutes.
UC Davis came out firing to start the second half on a 9-to-2 run for a 10 point lead, 35-25 with 17:37 left in the game. But Hawai'i would battle right back, going on a 10-to-0 run of their own highlighted by two layups and two free throws by King with Huff knotting the score at 35-35 with a layup of her own at the 13:10 mark. The second half would see seven ties and three lead changes as the game came down the stretch. UH would go on a 6-to-0 run starting at the 5:17 mark on an old fashioned 3-point play by Briana Harris that put UH up for good. Morgan Mason sealed the win hitting two free throws with 25-seconds left.
UC Davis outscored UH in the paint, 32-to-16, but Hawai'i edged the Aggies in rebounds, 39-to-37. The Rainbow Wahine also outscored UCD 19-to-5 in points off of turnovers; 18-to-10 in second-chance points; and in bench scoring 17-to-3. Hawai'i's defense forced 18 UCD turnovers while committing just 11-the second lowest total of the season for UH.
For the second straight game, King tallied 17 points and finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine. She went 5-of-13 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. King also added two assists, a blocked shot and a steal.
For the 14th time this season, Karaitiana notched double-digits in points. She drilled a pair of late 3-pointers that propelled UH into the lead for good starting at the 7:00 mark. Karaitiana was 5-of-12 overall and 3-of-9 from the 3-point line. She corralled six rebounds with three assists and a steal.
Huff finished the game a bucket shy of recording her first career double-double. She finished with eight points and added two blocked shots and a steal.
Shawna-Lei Kuehu's three points moved her past Jeanne Wade (1984-87) into No. 14 in UH's all-time scoring record book with a career total of 1,069 points.
UC Davis was led by Alyson Doherty's game-high 18 points and Sydnee Fipps added 10 points but fouled out with just over five minutes left in the game.
Hawai'i remains on the road, travelling down to UC Irvine to face the Anteaters on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 2:00 p.m. (PT).