The Hawaii women’s basketball team came agonizingly close to the biggest win in Dana Takahara-Dias’ two years as head coach, but fell in overtime 74-69 to Louisiana Tech tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.
UH (6-9 overall) fell to 0-2 to start Western Athletic Conference play for the fifth straight year. LaTech (10-5 overall) never trailed in the extra period and improved to 2-0.
Freshman forward Kamilah Jackson led UH with 18 points and 20 rebounds, but missed a free throw that could have won it with 2.6 seconds left in regulation.
UH senior forward Julita Bungaite tied the game at 67 with with a 3-pointer with 2 minutes left in overtime, but LaTech guard Whitney Jones completed a three-point play with 1:20 left for the go-ahead points.
Wahine senior guard Megan Tinnin hit two free throws to make it a one-point game with 57 seconds left. At the other end, LaTech’s Adrienne Johnson missed inside, and UH called timeout with 28.5 seconds left.
But Bungaite missed a jumper and UH didn’t manage to foul until 5.6 seconds left. LaTech’s Martina Holloway hit both free throws and a rushed Tinnin corner 3-pointer to send the game into a second overtime hit back iron.
It was just as gut-wrenching in regulation. Two Jackson free throws with 52.5 seconds left pulled the Wahine to within 61-60. UH followed it up with a stop on the other end and called timeout with 16.8 seconds left.
Keisha Kanekoa missed a driving shot, but the Wahine tied up Johnson on the rebound and got the ball back with 8.6 seconds to go. Shawna Kuehu missed a jumper from the right angle, but Jackson got the weakside rebound and was fouled on her second putback attempt.
She missed the first free throw but made the second, tying the game at 61 with 2.6 seconds left. A LaTech fullcourt heave went out of bounds with 1.5 to go. UH inbounded from midcourt, but Kanekoa didn’t get a shot off in time to win it in regulation.
UH trailed the entire second half until the final seconds. A Kanekoa layup cut the LaTech lead to 59-56 with 2:02 to play, and a Kuehu driving basket made it 61-58 with 1:28 left.
The Wahine outrebounded LaTech 52-35, but UH committed 21 turnovers to Tech’s 15.
Jones had a team-high 18 points for the Lady Techsters. Johnson added 15 on 5-for-19 shooting.
UH jumped out to a 22-11 lead on the Techsters, but LaTech went on a 19-2 run and took a 35-30 lead into halftime.
LaTech improved to 21-3 all-time against Hawaii.
Next up for UH is the first of five straight road games, at Idaho on Thursday.