(HAWAII ATHLETICS) - The University of Hawai'i women's basketball team (10-15, 3-9 Big West Conference) fell to the conference front-runner, UC Davis (22-4, 12-1 Big West) 68-56, on Saturday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Aggies rode the momentum of a first-quarter 11-2 spurt into the second frame, accounting for a 28-6 scoring run that equated to a 36-14 lead. The Aggies took a 40-18 lead into halftime. The second half proved to be a different story for UH as they turned up the pressure defensively and relied on the scoring of senior guard Sarah Toeaina.
Trailing by as much as 21 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, the Rainbow Wahine put together a 15-5 run over seven minutes of action to pull within 11 at 66-55 after a Toeaina three-point bucket. The squads traded free throws in the final two minutes for the eventual final score.
Toeaina scored a team-high 17 points, including 11 in the second half, for her third straight game of scoring 15 points or better. She has scored over 15 points six times in her last seven contests. She also pulled down a game-high seven rebounds, while shooting a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line.
Following the lead set by Toeaina was fellow guard, sophomore Julissa Tago as she added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor in 29 minutes of action.
UC Davis' all-BWC first team returnee, junior forward Morgan Bertsch led all scorers with 27 points while collecting a team-high five rebounds for the Aggies.
UH outfought UCD on the glass with a 37-29 advantage in rebounds--including a plus nine in offensive boards at 12-3. The Aggies continued to shoot at a high pace, hitting 51 percent from the floor, and 45 percent from beyond the arc (5-for-11). But the 'Bows held them to just 1-for-3 from 3-point-land in the second half.
Next up, UH will travel to CSUN (14-13, 7-6 Big West) for a Thursday night matchup at the Matadome. Tipoff is set for 5:00 PM HT and will be shown on ESPN 3. The Rainbow Wahine dropped the first encounter at home on Jan. 25, 70-58.