(Hawaii Athletics) - A fourth-quarter comeback fell short on Wednesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center with the University of Hawai'i women's basketball team falling 60-55 to visiting UC Riverside.
 
The Rainbow Wahine (7-12, 3-3) move back to the middle of the pack with the loss in the conference standings, as their record sits at the .500 mark. The Highlanders (9-11, 3-3) have now won three of their previous four, all against Big West opponents.  
 
"I'm proud of what we accomplished in the last seven minutes of the game," said head coach Laura Beeman. "However we can't expect to play like we did for the first three and half quarters against anyone in our conference and expect to win. We showed we can fight and play well, but can't put it all together consistently.
 
The first quarter put UH in an early hole at 18-8, and the following three quarters didn't do much for the home squad making a total of nine field goals and trailing by as much 20 in the third quarter.
 
The final 10 minutes told a different story as UH scored one more bucket than the previous three quarters combined with 10, sparking a 23-7 run by the Bows, pulling them within three at 58-55 with under 30 seconds to go. Both senior guard Tia Kanoa and sophomore forward Amy Atwell had clean looks from long distance in the final moments, but neither were able to pull the game to a tie. The Highlanders collected their final rebound drawing a foul with under a second left, clinching the game with two free throws.
 
Senior forward Leah Salanoa led the Rainbow Wahine with 17 points, hitting 6-of-9 from the floor, and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. At the end of the night, Salanoa's career mark of made three-pointers stood at 91, surpassing Crystal Lee (1998-2001) for 10th all-time in the UH record books. 
 
Defensively, UH stuck to its calling card by forcing turnovers, as the Highlanders gave up 18, while the 'Bows notched 11 steals, resulting in 23 points off turnovers.
 
UH will return to action at the Stan Sheriff Center on Saturday as a part of a doubleheader with men's basketball. The Rainbow Wahine will take on Cal Poly at 5:30 p.m. HT. Saturday's matchups will feature free admission to furloughed U.S. Government employees who were impacted by the government shutdown. Federal employees may receive free tickets for both games of the doubleheader.