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UH’s Toeaina named to first-team All-Big West

University of Hawaii junior Sarah Toeaina was named to the All-Big West women’s basketball first team today and guard Julissa Tago made the conference’s All-Freshman team.

Toeaina, a 5-foot-11 guard, enters the Big West tournament averaging 13.9 points per game overall and increased her output to 15.9 points per game in Big West play, good for sixth in the conference, while shooting 47.2 percent from the field.

Toeaina, who averaged 6.7 points last season, scored in double figures in 14 of 16 conference games, hitting for at least 20 points five times. She closed the regular season with a career-high 25 points on 10-for-13 shooting in UH’s 66-63 win over Long Beach State on Saturday. She also averaged 4.9 rebounds in conference play.

“In my career, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a young lady who worked as hard as Sarah worked in the offseason,” UH coach Laura Beeman said in a media conference call.

“She has put the work in and it’s really exciting to see it pay off.”

Tago averaged 5.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game and had 25 assists in Big West play while contributing at various positions from point guard to small forward.

Toeaina was joined on the first team by Cal Poly’s Hannah Gilbert, Cal State Northridge’s Channon Fluker, Long Beach State’s Anna Kim and UC Davis’ Morgan Bertsch and Pele Gianotti. Fluker was named the Big West Player of the Year and UC Davis’ Jennifer Gross was named Coach of the Year.

UH (11-17, 7-9 Big West) is the sixth seed in the Big West tournament and faces Cal Poly (11-17, 7-9) in the first round on Tuesday at Long Beach State’s Walter Pyramid. UH won both meetings with the Mustangs in the regular season. The game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Hawaii time.

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