The Rainbow Wahine basketball team will attempt to end one streak while extending another.
UH (8-17, 4-9 Big West) enters its final road trip of the regular season with a six-game losing streak but have won seven straight in the program’s series with UC Irvine (4-22, 2-10), including a 79-62 win at the Stan Sheriff Center on Jan. 26. The Wahine have also won 13 of the last 14 meetings dating back to 1996, with a 64-52 road loss on Feb. 9, 2013 the exception in the run.
After pulling away from UCI at home last month, the Wahine won their next game against Cal Poly two nights later to improve to 4-3 in Big West play, but have not broken 60 points in February while sliding into seventh place in the Big West standings.
UH head into the 5 p.m. (Hawaii time) tipoff at the Bren Events Center 1 1/2 games behind Cal Poly for sixth place, and would face the Mustangs in the first-round of the Big West tournament if they maintain — or switch — those positions. UC Irvine is a game ahead of Cal State Fullerton for the eighth and final spot in the tournament field. The Anteaters can put pressure on UH for seventh with a win today.
UC Irvine’s loss to UH was part of an eight-game skid that the Anteaters ended last Saturday with a 74-71 overtime win at Cal Poly.
Guards Irene Chavez and Brooke Bayman led five UCI players in double figures with 17 points each and Shereen Sutherland added 14 off the bench. Guard Andee Ritter, the Big West leader in 3-pointers made, went just 1-for-5 from long range and finished with 11 points.
Ritter hit five of UCI’s 12 3-pointers against UH in the first meeting, each seemingly deeper than the last, but UH coach Laura Beeman was also concerned about the production around her.
“We have to do a better job against her but also some of the other role players,” Beeman said. “It’s knowing where shooters are, not getting lost in transition and offensive rebounds, not dying on plays and continuing to spray out and guard people.”
UH freshman Julissa Tago played with Ritter at South Medford (Ore.) High School and is well aware of the sophomore’s range and lack of conscience as a shooter.
“She shoots from halfcourt,” Tago joked. “In high school she’d shoot like crazy. She’ll shoot it and she’ll make it.”
The Wahine conclude the trip Saturday at Cal State Fullerton.