FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The University of Hawaii women's basketball team held off Northern Arizona, 61-52 on Sunday afternoon at the Walkup Skydome. UH takes its second-straight win for a 2-0, 0-0 Big West Conference record.
The Lumberjacks (0-1, 0-0 Big Sky) inched their way back from a 16-point deficit in the second half. As five Rainbow Wahine ran into foul trouble, UH gave away nearly half of NAU's points as the Lumberjacks shot 80% (24-30) at the free throw line. In spite of a faulty third period, the Rainbow Wahine pulled together at crunch time to come out on top.
The 'Bows struggled to find the net heading into the final quarter with the Lumberjacks chipping away at UH's lead. NAU's Shay Young (10pts, 8-8 FT's) scored four-straight free points at the line towards the end of the third period, setting off of a 13-6 scoring run to bring the Lumberjacks within just two-points midway through the fourth.
With NAU on UH's tail, the 'Bows went full throttle down the wire. Sophomore Sarah Toeaina (4-10 FGs, 1-3 3pt FGs, 5-7 FTs, four rebounds, two assists), who matched her career 14-pts, hit a pivotal jumper with 5:19 left, igniting a solid 11-4 run for the Rainbow Wahine. As the game clock wound down, Toeaina cemented the 'Bows' 61-52 victory after sinking in three-straight frees. It was Toeaina's second-straight game with double-digit points.
Senior Destiny King (13pts, three assists) and sophomore Megan Huff (seven points, 5-5 FTs) led UH with seven rebounds apiece, as the 'Bows were able to out-rebound NAU 43-35. Ashleigh Karaitiana also came through with a game-high four assists, four rebounds, 10 points, including one trey. Alyssa Rader and Mariah Willadsen led the Lumberjacks with 12 points each.
The Rainbow Wahine return home next to host the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center. UH will open against Loyola Marymount on Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:00 p.m. and face Washington State on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 5:00 p.m.