LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawai'i women's basketball team captured its first conference title since 1998 after rallying past Long Beach State, 47-46 Thursday at The Pyramid.
The Rainbow Wahine (20-7, 12-2 BWC) extended their win streak to 12 games and with coupled with a UC Davis loss, clinched the outright conference title and No. 1 seed in the Big West Conference Tournament.
Shawna-Lei Kuehu led the 'Bows with 16 points and in the process, moved into 10th on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,187. The senior also had eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and two steals. Ashleigh Karaitiana had a game-high 13 rebounds to help the Rainbow Wahine dominate the boards, 44-27.
UH last won a share of a conference title was during the 1997-98 season when the Rainbow Wahine won the Western Athletic Conference Pacific Division with a 13-1 record. Prior to that, Hawai'i won back-to-back Big West titles in 1992-93 and '93-94.
The 'Bows also reached the 20-win mark for the first time since the 2001-02 squad went 23-8. Regardless of the outcome of the remainder of the season, UH is assured a postseason berth by virtue of winning the regular season. The Rainbow Wahine qualified for the Women's NIT in each of head coach Laura Beeman's first two seasons.