An all-time shooting performance by senior shooting guard Julissa Tago was not enough to carry the Hawaii women’s basketball team to a win at UC Irvine tonight.
Tago poured in a career-high 34 points — tied for the fifth-highest total in program history — and set Rainbow Wahine records for 3-pointers made for a game (eight) and a season (59), but she missed a critical free throw late in a 72-71 loss at UCI’s Bren Events Center.
The Wahine (14-12, 8-5 Big West) led by six points at the start of the fourth quarter but gave up a big run to fall behind eight. They rallied late, and Tago was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 4.5 seconds left with UH trailing by three. She made the first two free throws and missed the third, and the Anteaters grabbed the rebound.
UH had to take fouls and took two before stealing the ball with 0.3 seconds left and calling timeout to advance the ball. But Courtney Middap’s inbound pass to Amy Atwell for a tip-in attempt by the rim was broken up.
Tago’s total was the most scored by a Wahine player since Tania Brunton put in 34 against New Mexico State on March 8, 1996. She shot 11-for-19 from the field, 8-for-14 on 3s and 4-for-6 from the line.
Freshman point guard Nae Nae Calhoun dealt 10 assists in the loss, while senior Lauren Saiki had a key late basket as well as 12 assists for Irvine.