(Hawaii Athletics) - The University of Hawai'i women's basketball team kicks off 2018 and the Big West Conference slate on Thursday, with the first of a two-game road swing beginning at Cal State Fullerton, facing the Titans in a 5:00 p.m. HT matchup at Titan Gym.
The Rainbow Wahine (7-6, 0-0 Big West) are coming off a second-half surge that led them to a 67-57 victory over cross-town foe Hawai'i Pacific on Dec. 30. In the effort, four starters registered double-figure scoring, including senior guard Sarah Toeaina, who paced the group with her fifth double-digit performance in the last six games. Toeaina averages 13.9 PPG to lead all UH scorers and rank sixth in the conference, sitting just 109 points shy of breaching 1,000 career points. Scoring 10 against the Sharks, junior forward Lahni Salanoa came up just shy of her first double-double of the year, grabbing nine boards.
The Titans (5-8, 0-0 Big West) dropped a high-scoring double-overtime thriller to UTEP to end 2017, snapping a three-game win streak. CSF scores just under UH's average (64.8) at 62.4 PPG, but have topped at least 73 points in four of the last five outings. Junior guard Jade Vega ties for the top scorer at 11.8 PPG, but also dishes out 3.8 assists per game. Standing 6-3, junior center Daeja Smith proves to be a consistent force in the post, adding 11.8 PPG of her own, while averaging team highs of 9.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. Guard Hannah Thompson averages 29.2 minutes, but has come off the bench the past four games to add a third CSF scorer at 11.8 PPG.
Thursday's meeting with the Titans will be the 37th all-time matchup, with UH holding a heavy lead at 21-15. The 'Bows have won the last seven outings, including a 55-45 victory last February in Fullerton.
The Big West road set continues on Saturday (Jan. 6), as the 'Bows travel to league-leading UC Davis (10-3, 0-0 BWC) for a 12:00 p.m. HT meeting with the Aggies at The Pavilion. UCD will face UC Irvine on Thursday.
Game 14 Who: Hawai'i (7-6, 0-0 Big West) at Cal State Fullerton (5-8, 0-0 Big West) When: Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 (5:00 p.m. HT) Where: Titan Gym (Fullerton, Calif.) TV: None Live Stream:BigWest.tv Radio: None Audio Stream: None Live Stats: FullertonTitans.com