Rainbow Wahine basketball draws UC Riverside

Myrrah Joseph maneuvered in the paint with UC Riverside guard Jannon Otto defending on Jan. 30. / Photo by Bruce Asato, Star-Advertiser

The Hawaii women’s basketball team finally learned the identity of its Big West tournament semifinal opponent.

Second-seeded UH will meet third-seeded UC Riverside at 11:30 a.m. (HST) Friday at the Honda Center. That was sealed when the Highlanders defeated Long Beach State 67-50 at UC Irvine Wednesday afternoon.

UH has been practicing at Cal State Fullerton and Fullerton College in an attempt to stay sharp through its double bye earned last week with two key road wins at Riverside and Cal State Northridge.

UH (14-15, 10-6 Big West) split with Riverside (17-14, 10-6) during the regular season. The Highlanders, led by versatile guard Jannon Otto, held on for a 60-55 win at the Stan Sheriff Center on Jan. 30 after leading by as many as 20 points in the third quarter. But the Rainbow Wahine returned the favor last week Thursday, defeating UCR 51-44 on its senior night with Otto watching in street clothes.

Otto hasn’t participated since, and it sounds like she will be out the rest of this week with some kind of foot or leg injury. That is a considerable break for the Rainbow Wahine, absolutely no pun intended.

“They’re very different without Otto, their best player. And I definitely believe we are very different just with developing our chemistry (the last five games),” UH coach Laura Beeman said in a phone interview from Southern California on Wednesday night. “Playing much better as a team right now, definitely have some confidence. They’re a very, very difficult matchup because of the motion offense they run. You know, but they’re definitely struggling without their best player Otto.”

The Wahine enjoyed one of emerging freshman Myrrah Joseph’s better games of the season at SRC Arena. She had 14 points and seven rebounds, and that was even with 2-for-11 shooting on free throws. She shot 6-for-9 from the field.

As for the other semifinal, fifth-seeded UC Irvine just edged No. 4 CSUN 59-57 to earn the last semifinal berth and will face top seed UC Davis preceding UH’s game Friday.

Teams won’t get into the Honda Center for a shootaround until game day.


  1. Charity Stripe March 14, 2019 8:45 am

    I’m glad a freshman is making an impact in March for the Wahine but good grief, 2-11 from the Charity Stripe?! I don’t care if this is men’s or women’s.. this is Division 1 College Basketball! Coach Beeman please have this young lady work on her free throws ! Or have Brock Stepteau (UH Record Holder for most consecutive FT’s made in a game) work with her….

  2. Raider Dogs March 15, 2019 1:22 pm

    Great job just one win from the NCAA’s.

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