Point guard Tia Kanoa graciously accepted the first Big West weekly award given to the Hawaii women’s basketball team in the 2018-19 season.
The Monday honor went to Kanoa after she played huge all over the floor in the Rainbow Wahine’s 65-60 comeback win against defending champion UC Davis on Saturday. The importance of that win to the team couldn’t be overstated; it ended a three-game losing streak and gave the Rainbow Wahine a signature moment this season.
It was the first Big West player of the week for the program since Sarah Toeaina on Nov. 20 in 2017-18. UH improved to 5-10 overall and 1-1 in the Big West.
— Hawaii Warrior World (@hawaiiwworld) January 15, 2019
Kanoa, a senior, rated the win a “top three” moment in her three-year (two years active) UH career.
“Just one game turns around a little bit of the attitude,” she said. “We never lost hope, though. That’s the best part of this team. We continuously have fight and that’s just something that we’ve been putting together through this process.
“This preseason was our preseason for a reason. We scheduled, our coaches and our staff did a great job of challenging us this preseason. When we had a downfall to Fullerton (72-68 the previous week), it really gave us a wake-up call of, ‘hey, we gotta put it together now.’ And that’s what we did. It was a great team win against Davis and everybody was there together and we really worked for it.”
Kanoa’s 15 points (4-6 FG, 2-2 3FG, 5-6 FT) was a career high, and her rebounds (eight) were one off her personal best. She had seven assists against three turnovers; essential for the win as her controlled effort helped UH finish with a season-low nine giveaways.
UH has another big one coming. Channon Fluker and Cal State Northridge are the opponent Thursday. If UH can turn back another Big West preseason favorite (and another BWC player of the year candidate) at home, they’ll have injected some sizable intrigue into the Big West race in the early stages.