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Wahine basketball team drops OT heartbreaker

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:07 a.m. HST, Feb 2, 2014

The Hawaii women's basketball team staged an improbable rally at Cal State Northridge Saturday, coming back from 16 points down in the second half -- and seven points in the final minute -- only to lose in overtime after squandering a five-point lead in the extra period. 

UH ended up falling 75-72, dropping consecutive contests to open a four-game road trip.

A career night by junior wing Ashleigh Karaitiana went for naught. She scored 28 points and hit six of eight 3-pointers, tying a Rainbow Wahine record for long-range makes, but her desperation look in overtime to send the game to another extra period was blocked. Karaitiana scored eight points in the final minute of regulation just to get the game to overtime at 65-all, including a tying 3-pointer with 11 seconds left.

UH forward Kamilah Jackson, who was held to two points and a single rebound in a loss at Long Beach State on Thursday, added 23 points and 13 rebounds in defeat.

Northridge guards Janae Sharpe and Ashlee Guay combined for 53 points as the Matadors (10-12, 6-2 Big West) defeated UH (10-9, 4-3) for the first time in their series history. Guay (20 first-half points) blocked Karaitiana on the final shot.

UH took its first lead of the game on a jumper by Karaitiana to open the extra period. Shawna Kuehu fed Destiny King for a layup and a five-point lead with 2:26 left in OT.

But CSUN's Breeyon Alexander hit two free throws to make it a one-point game with 56 seconds to go. 

CSUN fouled Wahine point guard Briana Harris with 49 seconds left and the freshman missed both. The Matadors rebounded and called timeout with 39 seconds remaining. 

The Matadors missed a shot but forced a jump ball on the rebound and retained possession. Coming out of another timeout, Guay drove and was fouled. She made both with 28 seconds left for a 73-72 CSUN lead.

UH called timeout, but turned it over in the paint and took a foul with 11 seconds left. Cinnamon Lister made both for a three-point lead and Karaitiana's look just before the buzzer was blocked by Guay.

UH committed 10 first-half turnovers and trailed by 12 at the break, at which point CSUN had nearly as many points (39) as its 54-44 loss at Hawaii on Jan. 12.

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