Coming off its first win in February, the Rainbow Wahine basketball team takes some confidence and momentum into today’s regular-season road finale at Cal State Fullerton.
UH (9-17, 5-9 Big West) snapped a six-game losing streak with a 73-60 win at UC Irvine on Thursday and faces Cal State Fullerton (4-22, 1-12) on the Titans’ senior night set for 4 p.m. Hawaii time.
The Rainbow Wahine won the first meeting with Fullerton 60-50 on Jan. 12 at the Stan Sheriff Center led by Lahni Salanoa’s 19 points and UH will look to sweep the season series and their final road trip of the regular season.
Leah Salanoa headlined Thursday’s win at UC Irvine with a career-high six 3-pointers and 20 points and the ’Bows broke out of a scoring slump by shooting a collective 46.6 percent with 21 assists on 27 field goals.
“Hopefully we’re finding a little confidence and finding a little groove,” UH coach Laura Beeman said after the game.
Sarah Toeaina turned in a solid all-around performance in the win with 14 points on 7-for-10 shooting, seven rebounds and five assists. Toeaina leads UH with 33.2 minutes per game and sat out practices early in the week to recharge and get over an illness.
“Coming off a couple days off and not feeling well it was good to see the old Toe on the floor,” Beeman said. “We really needed her composure offensively and her voice defensively.”
Cal State Fullerton guard Iman Lathan leads the Titans and ranks fourth in the conference with 15.9 points per game. Guard Daeja Smith is next at 10.3 ppg, but the Titans are last in the league in shooting percentage (36.3) and 3-point percentage (28.7).
Cal State Fullerton trails UC Irvine by one game for the eighth and final spot in the Big West tournament. UH remains in seventh, one game behind Cal Poly for sixth.
After today’s game, UH will have a full week to prepare for next Saturday’s senior night game against Long Beach State at the Stan Sheriff Center.