It wasn’t a pretty blowout, but it was a blowout nonetheless.
The Hawaii women’s basketball team struggled at times against winless Columbia, but the Rainbow Wahine ultimately powered past the Lions 71-46 last night at the Stan Sheriff Center, ending a five-game losing streak.
Kamilah Jackson had 19 points and 15 rebounds, Megan Tinnin scored 16 and freshman Shawna Kuehu tied a career-high with nine assists for UH (5-6). The Wahine shot 54.9 percent from the field and outrebounded the Lions 54-23, enough to overcome 31 turnovers in the team’s first home game in exactly a month.
"It’s good to be back home," UH coach Dana Takahara-Dias said. "We struggled at some points, but very grateful that we were able to pull this one out. … I do believe we have lots to work on."
Columbia (0-10) of the Ivy League pulled to within 48-42 midway through the second half, causing some nervous noise from the turnstile crowd of 705, but UH closed out the game on a 23-4 run, sparked by a Tinnin four-point play.
Senior point guard Keisha Kanekoa had an off night, scoring just five points, bringing her to within 11 points of reaching 1,000 points for her career.
Jackson returned from a one-game absence—she went to her former AAU coach’s funeral on the mainland—to be her dominant self inside. She shot 7-for-7 from the field and 5-for-6 at the free-throw line. It was her sixth double-double in her last seven games.
"It was great (to be back with the team)," Jackson said. "They’re definitely like another family, they always welcome me."
UH continues the Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Invitational at 7 p.m. today against Cal State Bakersfield (9-8), which beat UNLV 66-63 in the first game of the tournament yesterday. The Wahine conclude the tourney against the Rebels (5-7) tomorrow.
Takahara-Dias played mostly reserves early in the second half while Columbia hung around. It was a message to her team to make every possession count. She also wasn’t pleased with the 50 percent (11-for-22) free-throw shooting.
"We were trying to find combinations out there that would eliminate the excessive turnovers," she said. "Tonight we did a poor job of taking care of the things we can control."
Brianna Orlich led Columbia, which shot 28.6 percent, with 11 points.
UH shot 54.9 percent and led 38-25 at the break.
Hawaii 71, Columbia 46
RAINBOW WAHINE (5-6)
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 — Hawaii 38, Columbia 25.
3-point goals — Columbia 6-24 (Orlich 3-7, Fuller 1-1, Ward 1-2, Barry 1-3, Chadalavada 0-1, Beato 0-2, Dwyer 0-3, Shafer 0-5). Hawaii 4-11 (Tinnin 3-6, Kanekoa 1-1, Gaddis 0-1, Ayabe 0-1, Bungaite 0-2).
Steals — Columbia 14 (Bradford 4, Dwyer 2, Orlich 2, Shafer 2, Jordan 2, Ward, Barry). Hawaii 13 (Kanekoa 5, Tinnin 2, Jackson, Keahu, Haydel, Bungaite, Dew, Ayabe). Blocked shots — Columbia 1 (Dwyer). Hawaii 5 (Dew 2, Jackson, Keahu, Gaddis). Officials — Penny Davis, Brian Yamasaki, Kirk Hottendorf. A–705.