Struggles continue for Rainbow Wahine against UC Riverside

Struggles continue for Rainbow Wahine against UC Riverside

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawai'i women's basketball team couldn't keep pace with a hot-shooting UC Riverside squad in a 79-59 loss in the Stan Sheriff Center on Wednesday night.

The Rainbow Wahine (8-14, 4-6 Big West) shot 29.8 percent from the field while the Highlanders (13-10, 7-3 Big West) hit 54.4 percent of their attempts to earn a season-sweep of Hawai'i with their second win over UH in less than a week.

After UC Riverside controlled the first half, building a 42-29 lead, Hawai'i showed life early in the third quarter. The Rainbow Wahine cut the deficit to just six at 48-42 midway through the period, but the Highlanders responded with a 10-0 run to take a 58-42 lead into the fourth. UCR grew its lead to as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter, snapping Hawai'i's nine-game Big West home winning streak.

The Highlanders controlled the paint all night, owning a 44-14 scoring advantage and blocking 10 Hawai'i shots. Hawai'i matched the Highlanders' 36 rebounds and had a 10-4 advantage in offensive rebounds, yielding a 7-5 edge in second-chance points.

Leah Salanoa led Hawai'i in scoring with 17 points, two shy of her career-high, by going 5-for-7 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Sarah Toeaina added 12 points and seven rebounds for Hawai'i, and Julissa Tago had 11 points and seven boards. Olivia Crawford added a season-high five assists.

Hawai'i held UCR's Rejane Verin scoreless in the first quarter, but Verin responded to finish with 26 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks in the game. Lauren Holt added 21 points and Michelle Curry finished with 14 for the Highlanders.

The Rainbow Wahine play their second of four consecutive home games on Feb. 11 when UC Santa Barbara visits the Stan Sheriff Center. Hawai'i will also host UC Davis (Feb. 16) and CSUN (Feb. 18) before playing on the road again.

Hawaii Athletics Release