Hawaii stormed back from a 13-point deficit in the second half and took over first place in the Big West women’s basketball standings with a 72-64 win over Long Beach State today at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.
UH forward Amy Atwell scored 20 of her 25 points in the second half and hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:46 left to lead the Rainbow Wahine (12-8, 8-2 Big West) to their fifth straight victory and a sweep of their road trip.
UH entered the day third in the conference and passed LBSU (16-4, 9-3) and UC Irvine (14-9, 9-3), which lost at UC Davis today, by percentage points.
Atwell, the conference’s leading scorer, spent most of the second quarter on the bench with two fouls. But she played the entire second half and went 7-for-9 from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point range after the break to help power the UH comeback. Atwell also led the Wahine with 12 rebounds.
Wahine guard Olivia Davies finished with 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting and Daejah Phillips had five assists and six rebounds.
LBSU forward Maddi Utti matched Atwell with 25 points and 12 rebounds and had 16 points in the first half. She had 21 with 7:04 left in the third quarter when she hit a 3-pointer to give the Beach a 46-33 lead.
Atwell answered with the first of three 3-pointers in a 16-2 UH run that pushed the Wahine ahead 49-48 to close the third quarter, with Davies giving UH the lead with a baseline jumper. Nnenna Orji banked in another early in the fourth quarter to give UH a 52-48 lead.
The teams traded buckets and LBSU’s Justina King forced the third tie of the quarter at 64-64 with a 3-pointer with 2:01 left in the game.
Atwell responded 15 seconds later by draining a pull-up 3 from the right wing to give UH the lead for good. The Wahine shut out the Beach the rest of the way and went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line to seal the win.
UH returns home to face UC San Diego on Thursday and UC Irvine on Saturday at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center.