LAS VEGAS >> The Hawaii women’s basketball team came up short in its bid to advance to the Western Athletic Conference tournament semifinals, falling 63-54 to Louisiana Tech in the first round today at the Orleans Arena.
UH’s season came to an end with an 11-19 record for the second straight year.
The Rainbow Wahine were in range of the Lady Techsters the whole way, but LaTech (16-14) pulled away in the final minute once UH had to play the foul game.
In its final WAC tournament, the Wahine dropped their 10th tourney game of their last 11.
Sophomore forward Kamilah Jackson led UH with 17 points and 16 rebounds, and had a three-point play to make it 53-51 LaTech with 56 seconds left.
But LaTech point guard Jasmine Bendolph put the game away with six straight free throws in the final minute. She scored a game-high 20 points.
Sophomore wing Vicky Tagalicod had 13 points and freshman point guard Alissa Campanero fouled out with 12. Senior forward Breanna Arbuckle scored eight in her final game in a Wahine uniform.
After swapping the lead to start the second half, LaTech earned a seven-point lead.
UH got to within two points on several occasions, and Campanero tied the game at 42 with 6:43 to play.
Arbuckle put UH ahead with a take to the basket, but the advantage was short-lived.
The Wahine committed turnovers on three straight possessions as LaTech went up 49-44 with under 4 minutes left. For the game, UH committed 19 turnovers to eight for Tech.
Jackson gave UH its last lead of the half at 25-23 on two free throws. But Bendolph hit a 3 with 37 seconds left in the half for a 26-25 Techster halftime lead.