Honolulu— The University of Hawaii women's basketball team fell to visiting Texas Southern, 74-57, on Sunday, wrapping up the Bank of Hawaii Classic.
"It was all about lack of effort," said head coach Laura Beeman. "It's not just about winning and losing; it's about how you win and how you lose. We got beat in terms of effort tonight, and that can't happen. For us to win next week, we need to go a find a bucket load of effort."
The Rainbow Wahine (3-2) suffered their first loss of the season at home and will look to respond next weekend with three consecutive games over the span of three days. The Lady Tigers (2-3) bounced back from a nine-point loss to Utah on Friday, a game in which they only trailed by four in the fourth quarter to the Pac-12 power.
An up-tempo first half told the story for both teams and played a role as the game went on. UH scored 32 of their 30 points in the paint and attacked the basket with every position. The aggressive play by the 'Bows gave them the 32-28 lead going into the locker room.
TSU used a strong offensive surge in the third quarter, putting the home team in a late hole. Trailing at 32-28 at the halfway point of the afternoon, the Lady Tigers went on a 20-7 run to take a 48-39 lead. As the play continued, TSU added to its lead as UH struggled from the field.
Junior forward Amy Atwell scored a team-high 15 points, hitting 7-of-10 from the floor in 20 minutes of play. The guard combo of senior Julissa Tago and junior Jadynn Alexnader each tallied 10 points, while Tago added five boards, and only committed one turnover in 32 minutes.
Turnovers were a problem for UH as they committed 22 miscues, compared to TSU committing just 12. Free throws didn't come easy either as UH shot 9-of-19 for the game. Over the course of the first three quarters, UH hit 2-of-10 from the charity stripe.
The Lady Tiger scoring tandem of Richelle Velez and Niya Mitchell caused the green and white problems over the course of the afternoon. Velez and Mitchell combined for 49 points and went 21-of-33 from the floor. Velez hit seven three-pointers on the day as well, for a game-high 25 points.
In five short days, the 'Bows will be back at the Stan Sheriff Center hosting the Heineken Rainbow Wahine Showdown. Beginning on Black Friday, Nov. 29, UH will host North Texas, North Carolina State, and Texas the annual tournament. The first of the three games will be televised on Spectrum Sports, as UH will take on the Mean Green at 5:00 p.m. HT on Friday.