(Hawaii Athletics) - Sophomore forward Makenna Woodfolk recorded a career-high 27 points as the University of Hawai'i women's basketball team (12-15, 5-10 Big West) took down visiting UC Santa Barbara (12-16, 9-7 Big West) 73-64 on Thursday night at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The victory solidified a spot for the Rainbow Wahine in the Big West Conference tournament next week, with the seeding still to be decided over the weekend. UCSB maintains its position in the conference standings at the No. 4 spot.
"It's a big weight off our shoulders," said head coach Laura Beeman. "It's not something we have to keep in the back of our minds. We're not worrying about who won and who lost in the conference, we can just go out and play."
In a contest with just five lead changes, neither squad led by more than nine points throughout the night. UCSB led 32-26 at halftime while keeping senior guard Sarah Toeaina to only six points. Toeaina found her rhythm in the third period, accounting for 10 points in the quarter. Her production helped the 'Bows capture the lead heading into the final frame 46-44, their first lead since the opening minutes of the game.
After an opening bucket by UCSB to bring the game to a 46-46 tie, the fourth quarter belonged to Woodfolk. She kicked started the offense scoring the next seven points for the 'Bows on her own. UCSB matched Woodfolk's production, trailing but two at 53-51 with over six minutes to play.
Leading by three at 61-58 with 3:04 on the clock, Woodfolk and the "Bows built on the lead with a 12-6 run to put away the Gauchos. Woodfolk finished with 17 points in the quarter, and nearly surpassed her previous career-high of 20 points against San Diego on Nov. 17, 2017, in just one quarter.
She finished the night nearly perfect in every shooting category, hitting 8-of-9 from the floor, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, and 9-for-11 from the free throw line. The Tacoma, Washington native added seven rebounds, two blocks, and two steals in the process.
Toeaina finished two rebounds shy of collecting her third consecutive double-double with 20 points and eight boards.
The 'Bows will finish up the regular season on Saturday against Cal Poly at 7 p.m. HT. Following the game, Toeaina will be honored as a part of the senior day festivities.