UC Riverside guard Brittany Crain scored 31 points and the Highlanders edged the University of Hawaii women’s basketball team 77-74 in a Big West duel tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Crain, the Big West’s leading scorer at 18.5 points per game, shot 10-for-17 from the field and 8-for-9 from the free-throw line and UCR (11-7, 4-0) earned its first win over Hawaii in the history of the series to remain undefeated in conference play.
UH senior Destiny King led the Rainbow Wahine (9-8, 2-2) with career-high 24 points and freshman guard Olivia Crawford added 13 with four 3-pointers and led UH with eight rebounds before a crowd of 1,264.
The teams traded the lead 15 times and UCR went ahead for good when Michelle Curry hit a twisting shot with 1:14 left to give the Highlanders a 73-71 advantage.
Curry finished with 12 points and Rejane Verine and Annelise Ito added 11 each for the Highlanders, the Big West’s highest scoring team. UCR shot 46 percent from the field and went 18-for-20 from the foul line.
UH led 71-69 with 2:21 left when Marissa Wimbley hit a 3-pointer from the left side off an assist from Ashleigh Karaitiana.
Crain then drove for the tying layup and after a UH miss Curry gave UCR the lead with her shot in the paint. Karaitiana then missed a 3-pointer and UCR stretched the lead to four on two Verin free throws.
Briana Harris hit a 3-pointer from the corner to bring UH to within a point with 11 seconds left. UH fouled Crain on the inbound and she added two more free throws with 9 seconds left.
UH called timeout and advanced the ball into the frontcourt. The Wahine worked the ball to Harris again, but her shot was off the mark and the buzzer sounded in the scramble for the rebound.
The Wahine head on the road next week and face UC Irvine Jan. 21 and CSUN two days later.