UPDATE III: UH had a chance to build some serious momentum coming off its road sweep but instead came out flat against UC Riverside on Wednesday. The Highlanders built a 20-point lead behind Jannon Otto’s 22 points, but then the Rainbow Wahine rallied furiously to within three in the final seconds. Tia Kanoa’s long 3 to tie was just long and UCR pulled out the 60-55 win.
UPDATE II: UH swept its two-game road trip with a 47-35 win at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
UPDATE: The Rainbow Wahine bounced back in a big way from their home loss to Cal State Northridge, ringing up a 71-54 win at Cal Poly on Thursday.
The next four games — over a two-week stretch beginning today — have the potential to set the direction of the Hawaii women’s basketball team for the remainder of the season.
Are the Rainbow Wahine the team that put things together and knocked off defending champion UC Davis at the Stan Sheriff Center? Or are they the group that scored 29 points in a disappointing home loss to Cal State Northridge?
If they’re the former, they’ll be in position to compile some wins coming up and establish themselves firmly among the Big West pack, and maybe even vie for a top-four berth and an opening-round bye in the conference tournament. If they’re the latter, well … things could get rough.
UH (5-11, 1-2 Big West) faces the bottom three teams in the conference — who currently have a combined league record of 3-8 — four times over these two weeks. It begins today at Cal Poly (4-11, 1-3) and continues Saturday at UC Santa Barbara (4-12, 1-2). Next week, UH hosts UC Riverside (7-11, 1-3) and Cal Poly.
You can view today’s 5 p.m. (HST) game on Big West TV live streaming.
A couple of notes:
>> Senior sisters Lahni and Leah Salanoa are very close to cracking the Wahine career top 10 in 3s made. Lahni has 89 triples (eight this season) while Leah has 84 career (21 this season). The No. 10 mark is held Crystal Lee with 90. In attempts, Lahni has 255 career and Leah 260. The No. 10 in that category is shared by Amy Sanders and Lee with 276. Additionally, Lahni’s .349 career 3-point percentage would land her at No. 10 if she can hold that mark. No. 10 there is held by Neicee Crump at .343.
>> Saturday’s 2 p.m. game at UCSB’s Thunderdome should be interesting in that UH assistant coach Alex Delanian did a one-year stint with the Gauchos last year after leaving the Wahine following the 2016-17 season. Delanian rejoined UH last offseason, so this will be his first trip back to Isla Vista since.