The Rainbow Wahine basketball team wasn’t going to let the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks spoil their home-opener at the Stan Sheriff Center Friday night, as the ‘Bows took care of business against their visitors, 84-68.
Despite some early shooting woes from both sides to start the game, the Wahine were the more aggressive team, battling for second-chance points. Their work on the boards was significant as they out-rebounded the Lumberjacks 43-37, including 16 offensive rebounds.
The Wahine shot an impressive 46 percent from the field, although they struggled with the three-ball (4-of-16 shooting). The Lumberjacks attempted just 59 shots on the game compared the Hawaii’s 76, shooting just 37 percent from the field and 14 percent from three-point territory.
Head coach Laura Beeman stressed before the season tipped off that she wanted to see her team pass the ball more effectively and efficiently. While the Wahine did turn the ball over 14 times while racking up 13 assists, the ball movement was much improved.
Passing the ball along the perimeter proved worthwhile as Hawaii was able to find passing lanes in the paint which resulted in 44 points from the inside. Led by redshirt freshman Amy Atwell’s 17-point performance, Hawaii’s lead was never in doubt.
Sarah Toeaina scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Julissa Tago scored 10 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting. But the real story behind Hawaii’s success came from the reserves, who scored 40 points off the bench.
To put that into perspective, the Lumberjacks bench only scored seven points. With seven players scoring at least five points in the game, Hawaii’s versatility on offense leaves its opponents guessing.
Now 2-1 on the season, the Wahine will look for their third-straight win on the season against the University of San Diego Sunday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.
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