Second chances were the bane of the Hawaii women’s basketball team last night. UH coach Dana Takahara-Dias still wants one.
The Fresno State Bulldogs posted a 33-1 advantage in second-chance points and held off a late Rainbow Wahine charge in an 83-70 defeat of UH before a crowd of 833 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Second-place FSU (21-7, 12-2 Western Athletic Conference) has claimed ownership of the series, and who’s to argue? The Bulldogs beat UH (10-18, 4-11) for the 11th straight time and 17th in the last 18 meetings going back to 2004, but the Wahine remained in seventh place with senior night on Thursday against Utah State.
Hawaii gave up 18 offensive boards as part of a 41-32 rebounding disadvantage, a rare occurrence in WAC play. Takahara-Dias felt a fresh start would have done her team good after it cut a 21-point lead to seven and outscored its nemesis 38-33 in the second half.
It looked plenty bad at halftime, after Fresno blew open the game with putbacks or good looks after pulling out its own misses. UH trailed 50-32 at the break.
"The first half, we’d like to get that one back. They played extremely well and we didn’t help our cause any," Takahara-Dias said. "Allowing 50 points is not something that we’re very proud of. I’m really, really encouraged by the fact that the team did a much better job in the second half. We actually were able to stop them from scoring at will. … They were scoring any which way they wanted, without any kind of opposition from us."
That said, all the makings for an upset were in place. Reasonably low turnovers (15), a great shooting percentage (.510) and 3-point makes (6-for-9) were all there.
Point guard Keisha Kanekoa and forward Breanna Arbuckle combined for 32 points and 11 assists, while shooting guard Megan Tinnin added 15 points.
Fresno bombarded UH with 35 long-range attempts and reached its NCAA-best average of 10 3-point makes, but that wasn’t how it won its sixth straight game.
The one thing the Hawaii women’s basketball team usually does well — rebound — was its undoing last night. Freshman forward Kamilah Jackson, the Wahine’s best board hoarder, grabbed 11, but no other player collected more than five.
Tinnin capped a 14-3 run with a fast-break basket to make it 62-55, forcing FSU coach Adrian Wiggins to call timeout with 9 minutes left. Later, UH cut the deficit to 72-64 on a Tinnin right-wing 3-pointer with 4:42 to play, but each time the Wahine threatened, Fresno scored thanks to those extra opportunities.
"I think Coach has them playing really hard. That’s why they rebound so hard," Wiggins said. "We knew that, so we were really scared about that coming in. But we gave a great rebounding effort, I couldn’t complain about that tonight. I thought it did make a big difference, because Hawaii shot so well, we limited their second-shot opportunities."
WAC player of the year candidate Jaleesa Ross led FSU with 25 points, including five 3-pointers. Four Bulldogs had six or more rebounds.
"They must have got at least five putbacks from missed box-outs," Kanekoa said. "Hopefully on Thursday we can put two halves together."
The Wahine played without starting wing Shawna Kuehu for the second straight game because of concussion-like symptoms.
|Louisiana Tech||13||0||1.000 — 21-5|
|Fresno State||12||2||.857||1 1/2||21-7|
|Utah State||9||5||.643||4 1/2||15-12|
|New Mexico State||6||8||.429||7 1/2||12-16|
|Boise State||3||11||.214||10 1/2||12-16|
|San Jose State||2||12||.143||11 1/2||2-25|
Fresno State 83, Hawaii 70
Louisiana Tech at Nevada
Fresno State at San Jose State
Idaho at New Mexico State
Boise State at Louisiana Tech
Utah State at Hawaii, 7 p.m.
FRESNO STATE 83, HAWAII 70
|Bulldogs (21-7, 12-2 WAC)|
|Rainbow Wahine (10-18, 4-11 WAC)|
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 — Fresno State 50, Hawaii 32
3-point goals — FSU 10-35 (Ross 5-12, Moult 2-11, Thompson 1-5, Arnold 1-2, Wilson 1-2, Farley 0-1, Munro 0-2). Hawaii 6-9 (Kanekoa 2-3, Tinnin 2-4, Bungait 1-1, Ayabe 1-1).
Steals — FSU 6 (Edwards 2, Thompson 2, Ross, Munro). Hawaii 3 (Jackson, Haydel, Tinnin). Blocked shots — 1 (Munro). Hawaii 2 (Arbuckle, Tinnin). Officials — Shelley Nakasone, Carla Fujimoto, Penny Davis. A– 833.