Hawaii’s post-regular season ended the same way as the conference season began … with two losses.
The Rainbow Wahine rallied from 18 points down to force overtime but came up short in the extra period, losing to Saint Mary’s 92-88 in Friday’s first-round Women’s NIT game at Moraga, Calif.
Sophomore guard Briana Harris had a career-high 24 points and senior guard Shawna-Lei Kuehu added 19 before she and Harris fouled out late in overtime for the Rainbow Wahine (23-9). They were two of five Hawaii players to foul out in a game where the Rainbow Wahine were whistled for 36 fouls to 21 by the Gaels (21-10).
Senior guard Ashleigh Karaitiana added 12 points before fouling out late in regulation. Karaitiana’s 3-pointer pulled Hawaii to within 74-73 with 20 seconds remaining and Kuehu’s two free throws with 3.6 to go sent it into overtime.
“The first half killed us,” Hawaii coach Laura Beeman said. “We could have beat that team if we had played 40 minutes of basketball.
Reserve Shannon Mauldiin had a career-high 32 points for Saint Mary’s, which will travel to play Fresno State in the second round Monday.