Hawaii may have outclassed Portland State on one court, but couldn’t match up on another.
The UH women’s basketball team failed to make it a dual-sport sweep of the Vikings last night. Soon after the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team swept PSU in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Seattle, Dana Takahara-Dias’ squad fell short in a 77-66 loss at the Vikings’ arena in Portland.
The Vikings (4-2) of the Big Sky Conference iced the game at the free-throw line, making 10 straight in the final 2:30 and converting 21 of 22 (95 percent) for the game. Meanwhile, UH made just nine of 19 (47.4 percent) from the stripe.
"That’s what you call a seasoned team that knows how to win," Takahara-Dias said in a postgame phone interview. "They made baskets when they needed to, hit free throws when they had to. … Our defense was suspect many times. To give up 77 points, we’re not very pleased with that at all."
At least the Wahine won’t have to travel far — about 20 minutes from their hotel — for their second game of the road trip. The Wahine (4-3) face Portland (5-3) of the West Coast Conference tomorrow at 5 p.m. Hawaii time.
Last night, the Wahine faced an uphill climb from the opening minutes and fell behind by 14 points late in the first half.
But after trailing 38-26 at halftime, UH made a big push. An 18-7 run got the Wahine within a point at 45-44 with 12:54 to play, and they hung within three points until the 7-minute mark.
The closest UH would get it from there would be 67-61 on a layup by senior point guard Keisha Kanekoa with 2:27 left, as the Vikings closed it out from the foul line.
"We made a run at the end, but then dug ourselves back into a hole," Takahara-Dias said.
Hawaii freshman forward Kamilah Jackson justified the first start of her college career with her fourth straight double-double. She had a career-high 22 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field with 10 rebounds.
"Kamilah is a bright spot, and has been from Day 1," Takahara-Dias said. "She played exceptional tonight. But she needs a supporting crew for us to be successful as a team. Tonight we struggled individually. … We’re disappointed in how we came out tonight."
Freshman wing Shawna Kuehu tied her career best with 16 points, Kanekoa had 14 points, six rebounds and five assists and junior forward Breanna Arbuckle added nine points. Those four players had 61 of UH’s 66 points.
The Wahine piled up a huge 48-20 advantage in points in the paint, outshot the Vikings from the field 43.1 percent to 40 percent, and matched them on the backboards. UH, a turnover-prone team, even took reasonable care of the ball, committing only 12 turnovers and matching that with 12 assists.
Portland State 77, Hawaii 66
Rainbow Wahine (4-3)
Key — fg-a: field goals made-attempted; ft-a: free throws made-attempted; rb: rebounds; pf: personal fouls; pts: total points; a: assists; to: turnovers; min: minutes played.
Halftime — Portland State 38, Hawaii 26
3-point goals — Hawaii 1-7 (Kuehu 1-1, Tinnin 0-1, Kanekoa 0-1, Bungaite 0-2, Ayabe 0-2), PSU 8-25 (Lampman 3-6, VanBrocklin 2-3, Valentine 1-4, Cremer 1-1, Jones 1-6, Jackson 0-1, Marchant 0-1, Bishop 0-3).
Steals — Hawaii 9 (Jackson 5, Kuehu, Kanekoa, Haydel, Ayabe), PSU 4 (VanBrocklin 3, Valentine). Blocked shots — Hawaii 7 (Kuehu 2, Arbuckle, Tinnin, Haydel, Bungaite, Patterson), PSU 5 (Wade 3, Jones, Cremer). Officials — Bob Scofield, John Weeks, Penny Davis. A– 568.