Rainbow Wahine basketball headed to Saint Mary’s in WNIT

The Rainbow Wahine waved to UH fans after their championship game loss to UC Davis. / Photo by Darrell Miho, Special to the Star-Advertiser

For its second straight WNIT appearance and for the third time in 10 overall showings in the event, the Hawaii women’s basketball team has been dispatched to Moraga, Calif., to face Saint Mary’s in the opening round.

UH (15-16) and the Gaels of the West Coast Conference (20-11) will meet on Friday at a time to be announced. The winner of that game will face Cal Baptist or Pepperdine in the second round.

Coach Laura Beeman and her team were sent to Moraga in the 2015 WNIT, resulting in a 92-88 loss in overtime. UH also played there in the 2000 WNIT first round, losing 75-60.

UH, fresh off its difficult 58-50 loss to UC Davis in the Big West championship game, arrived back home on Sunday for some quick rest before preparing to fly back out this week. The Gaels, meanwhile, dropped a 78-77 decision to No. 14 Gonzaga in the WCC tournament semifinals.

UPDATE: “We’ll have our hands full, but I know we’re playing really good basketball right now,” Beeman said. “I was excited for these kids that they have the opportunity to continue to play. That’s what everyone wants this time of year, and I’m just really excited about that.

“They’re a very good team. They have a very good record,” Beeman added of SMC. “We definitely will have a great competitor. I’ve known their head coach, Paul (Thomas), since my Mount SAC days, and he just does an amazing job with his program.”

The Wahine, the only Big West team in the WNIT field, had a pretty good idea that they’d be sent somewhere in the West region to minimize the tournament’s travel costs.

Other West region schools in the field are Cal Baptist (WAC); Denver (Summit League); Idaho (Big Sky); New Mexico (Mountain West); Pepperdine (West Coast); Arizona (Pac-12); Fresno State (Mountain West); Idaho State (Big Sky); Loyola Marymount (West Coast); Northern Colorado (Big Sky); Pacific (West Coast); and Wyoming (Mountain West).

It took longer than expected for the WNIT to put out its bracket pairings on Monday afternoon. Everyone started to get a little impatient.

Anyway, here’s UH all-time WNIT appearances. UH is 3-0 in WNIT home games, 0-7 in WNIT road games and 2-4 in WNIT neutral site games. That’s 5-11 overall.

2019 — at Saint Mary’s, ??
2015 — at Saint Mary’s, 92-88 OT L
2014 — at Washington, 67-50 L
2013 — at San Diego, 61-49 L
2003 — at Arizona State, 57-44 L
2002 — at Oregon State, 62-50 L
2001 — Santa Clara, 73-57 W; BYU, 77-73 OT W; Oklahoma State, 52-51 W; at New Mexico, 68-43 L
2000 — at Saint Mary’s, 75-60 L
1992 — vs. Florida International, 83-73 W; vs. Arkansas State, 83-73 W; vs. Georgia Tech, 90-72 L
1983 — vs. Oral Roberts, 69-60 L; vs. Southern Illinois, 84-68 L; vs. Temple, 76-65 L


  1. cappie the dog March 18, 2019 5:17 pm

    Not a bad draw. The Hawaii men faced a Utah State team at Logan who were coming off a tough loss. The only time Hawaii beat an AP Top 25 team on the road. Hopefully, the women’s basketball team are facing a similar situation. Hawaii is playing a sad Gaels team.

  2. cappie the dog March 18, 2019 10:10 pm

    That 2001 team: Crystal Lee stepped up. She is a good example of somebody who looked raw during her freshman season and worked hard and turned herself into a very good player. Lauren Rewers, Myrrah Joseph, Savannah Reier; hang around. Don’t transfer. You too, Jadynn Alexander. Your contributions are highly valued to the cult who shows up to your games on a regular basis.

  3. bowsfan March 19, 2019 3:25 pm

    2001 WNIT home games was awesome that year and Kylie Galloway left team too.

  4. cappie the dog March 19, 2019 6:54 pm

    Yes. That BYU game. First time the place was ever loud for a women’s game. It’s my policy not to name players,. but yeah, she bailed. Do you remember Kylie in her first incarnation? She was a dominant player. The way Atwell gets some of her baskets around the basket reminds me of her.

    I didn’t complete the list: I want Courtney Middap, Amy Atwell, and everybody else to return. Build on this post-season appearance. People don’t get excited about the NIT. It’s important if you’re not a traditional power; a traditional power has the luxury of looking down on the NIT.

  5. Lowtone123 March 20, 2019 2:49 pm

    I agree with Cappie. The future is bright with the young talent coming back. All of the young players Cappie mentioned played well overall and at times showed flashes of their potential. I was especially impressed with Joseph and Atwell. Joseph reminds me of Kamilah Jackson. Rewers could be dominant.

  6. cappie the dog March 20, 2019 3:44 pm

    Thank you, Lowtone123. Rewers added a 15-foot jump shot. Christen Roper could not hit that shot.

    Alabama men lost to Norfolk State in overtime. That is #32 beating #1. Alabama did not want to play this game. St. Mary’s is coming off an agonizing loss to Gonzaga in the WCC conference championship. Potential disinterest in playing a sub-.500 Big West team could level the playing field, and give Hawaii a chance to pull the upset.

    Right now, Sam Houston State is up on TCU, but I can’t root against Jamie Dixon.

  7. cappie the dog March 22, 2019 5:17 pm

    As the women’s basketball program makes strides toward improvement, the first thing I’d like to see corrected is missed layups.

  8. cappie the dog March 24, 2019 7:10 am

    Gonzaga won. BYU won. The WCC is a very high mid-major.

  9. cappie the dog April 1, 2019 7:45 pm

    Wow. Look at the Ducks. I remember when Paul Westhead was the coach and they were terrible. Hawaii beat them.

Comments are closed.