The Hawaii women’s basketball team pulled off an important 69-68 win at Cal State Northridge today, giving the Rainbow Wahine the No. 2 seed in next week’s Big West tournament and a double bye into the semifinals.
UH (14-15, 10-6 Big West) leapfrogged the Matadors (16-14, 10-6) in the standings on the final day of the regular season, thanks to a tiebreaker by virtue of being the only team to defeat regular-season champion UC Davis back in January.
The Rainbow Wahine, who led most of the way, went up 67-60 on a putback by Jadynn Alexander with 4:50 remaining. The Matadors scored six straight, but center Lauren Rewers hit a clutch baseline jumper with 1:15 left for a three-point lead.
CSUN’s Eliza Matthews scored a basket, UH’s Amy Atwell missed a 3 and the Matadors called timeout with 15 seconds left looking for the winning shot.
UH disrupted the Matadors’ play and the ball bounced out to reigning Big West player of the year Channon Fluker (20 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks). The senior center pump faked and shot a deep 3 at the buzzer for the win on senior night at the Matadome, but the ball rimmed out and the Wahine could celebrate after a second hard-earned road win in three days.
Atwell scored 18 points to lead UH, while Leah Salanoa added 16 and Rewers 10. Atwell and Salanoa combined to shoot 8-for-12 on 3-pointers. Point guard Tia Kanoa had 10 assists and one turnover.
Serafina Maulupe scored a game-high 24 points on 10-for-16 shooting for CSUN.