POSTED: 5:15 p.m. HST, Mar 21, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 5:33 p.m. HST, Mar 21, 2013
The Hawaii women's basketball team came up short in its first postseason game in 10 years, falling 61-49 to San Diego in the opening round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament today.
UH concluded its first season under coach Laura Beeman at 17-14 overall and 13-5 in Big West play.
Junior guard Sydney Haydel led the Wahine with 11 points and six rebounds. But team leader Kamilah Martin struggled to carry her squad, shooting 3-for-17 from the field for eight points and five rebounds against USD's stalwart post players.
USD (22-9) of the West Coast Conference maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half in its own Jenny Craig Pavilion in San Diego. The Toreros were clearly more comfortable in their home building, shooting 48.8 percent to UH's 31.6 percent. They advanced to face Utah of the Pac-12 in the second round.
UH trailed from the opening minutes. It drew within 17-16 early, but from there the physical Toreros — who outrebounded the Wahine 41-27 — separated and were never seriously threatened.
Junior wing Shawna Kuehu (nine points) converted a three-point play to make it 38-28 with 15 minutes left.
Haydel scored a tough runner to make it 51-40 with under seven minutes remaining. She made a free throw with 3:15 left to get UH within single digits at 56-47.
But the Toreros came back with a backdoor layup, then an easy basket on an inbounds play.
Amy Kame led the Toreros with 19 points.
UH was without senior center Stephanie Ricketts, who had graduate school obligations and did not make the trip.
It was the last UH game for senior point guard Monica DeAngelis and juniors Vicky Tagalicod and Kanisha Bello. The latter two are leaving the program early after graduating this semester.