Wins proving hard to come by

Jadynn Alexander went up for two of her career-high 10 points in a loss to Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday. / Photo by Dennis Oda, Star-Advertiser

There were a couple moments when it looked like the Hawaii women’s basketball team could rally all the way back from 22 points down against Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday.

Those moments were either followed by a turnover or some other sort of missed opportunity, or just came plain too late. FCGU held on to win 73-67 on the second day of the Rainbow Wahine Showdown.

UH (1-6) continues to be frustrated in its nonconference schedule heading into Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. contest with No. 8 Stanford to wrap up the four-team tournament. Consistent scoring has come and gone; UH’s top two point producers, Leah Salanoa and Kenna Woodfolk, scored all but one of their combined 18 points Saturday in the fourth quarter. Salanoa’s 3 with 11 seconds left made it a four-point game, momentarily.

But coach Laura Beeman was encouraged Saturday, noting her team played better over the course of the first two days of the event, including within the game against FCGU.

The three previous times the Wahine program got off to a 1-6 start (1981-82 under Milo Griffin, 2008-09 under Jim Bolla, 2011-12 under Dana Takahara-Dias) they also dropped to 1-7, but things got better (at least for a while) soon after that.

Beeman said she’ll be OK with the outcome on Sunday, win or loss, as long as the team beating UH is not itself, as has been the case frequently to this point (there were 19 turnovers this time, and that count has often been over 20).

Defensive-minded guard Jadynn Alexander provided some positives with her energy Saturday, scoring a career-best 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting. Until Lahni Salanoa returns from injury, UH will need more of that from sources like her, Rachel Odumu, and Courtney Middap.

After this tournament, UH has a couple of good chances at some wins, hosting former WAC foe Idaho and Division II neighbor Hawaii Pacific. Then UH heads out for three mainland games over the Christmas holiday. Those are the last chances to improve in games before Big West play begins.


  1. nomu1001 November 25, 2018 7:24 pm

    Every player needs to look at film. Seems to come down to – better fundamentals first and foremost. Then execution should follow. Then less penalties. Equally important, mental game, focus. Do your jobs, finish plays.

    What is the strategy behind the constant rotation of players?

  2. cappie the dog November 25, 2018 7:49 pm

    Hawaii’s only true center goes scoreless in seven games, so, of course, against nationally ranked Stanford she goes 3-5 from the field.

    Finally, she has something to build on.

    13-22 from 3-pt. range is amazing.

    Hawaii played Stanford even in the third quarter.

    I think they will be fine.

  3. rabbit ears November 26, 2018 1:45 pm

    Hawaii played Stanford even in the third quarter. funny!

    I think theirs arms were tired scoring.

    We need better recruits.

  4. Nomu1001 November 26, 2018 11:49 pm

    Start by making layups. Follow your shots. Blocking out better. Move your legs and feet. More legs and core going up to the basket, arm strength without using your legs will never get you there. You dont put a super heavy box way up on the top shelf without using the big muscles. Correctable problems that dont require tons of repetition and practice. Just our worthless two pennies.

  5. cappie the dog November 27, 2018 5:42 pm


    University of Hawaii at Manoa is the only school that competes at the DI level.

    If I lived in North Carolina, I could cheer for: North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest, NC-Asheville, Davidson, NC-Central, NC-Greensboro, North Carolina State, Appalachian State, NC-Wilmington, Western Carolina, Elon, High Point, North Carolina A & T, Gardner-Webb, East Carolina and Campbell.

    (Needed Wikipedia after NC State.)

    Recruiting mainland kids to play here is hard because they want their friends and family to see them play.

    I have learned to appreciate any male or female athlete who chooses to play here.

  6. cappie the dog November 27, 2018 5:45 pm

    I wish Leah Salanoa, Julissa Tago, or Makenna Woodfolk would take the leadership mantel and be the one to put up the lion’s share of the shots.

    Hawaii needs a go-to player.

  7. nomu1001 November 29, 2018 1:56 am

    Here’s our two pennies –

    Make layups first with your eyes, block out the distractions.
    The power to get the ball to the basket comes from your drive leg.
    When you get tired, you lose posture.

  8. Matt November 29, 2018 11:32 am

    Yet, this team is without Lahni Salanoa, one of their best shooters from last year still in injury question. This better not be a huge setback for the program. It didn’t help to the fact that this team lost 6’3″ Hoycard and Donohue before the season started. I appreciate that Beeman is getting replacements for next year to replace the seniors leaving this season, but you gotta look at the scenario. Where this program is at, they’re far and away from being a competitor against tough schools in the long haul. When Coach B started the program, this was the scenario:
    Year 1: 17-14 (13-5)
    Year 2: 17-14 (10-6)
    Year 3: 23-9 (14-2)
    Year 4: 21-11 (12-4)
    Year 5: 12-18 (7-9)
    Year 6: 12-18 (5-11)
    Year 7: (Currently) 1-7
    The challenge is…how do you replace the height you lost before the season and after the season? Never easy…especially looking at what they’re going to get for the 2019-20 season, they’re going to get the following; a 5’5″ PG from Riverside, CA, a 5’9″ G from Wasilla, AK, a 5’10” G/F from Vallejo, CA, a 6’1″ F from Elisabeth, Colorado, and a 6’2″ JUCO transfer F from Ventura, CA. I appreciate that Coach B is planning to get some more depth for the forward position, but thinking about Rewers at center…someone else needs to back her up for the center position because if at best, they probably would want to hope to find another Megan Huff-type player. Not to mention, this could be for the first time, where in the WBB season they will have NO local players on the roster for the 2019-2020 season. Seriously…I can’t recall a time when something like this has happened. But likewise, it concerns me that Matlin has eyes like a hawk because he’s watching Beeman’s every move and her leaving the program after this season could leave a ton of concern because this would have to mean for her to plead her case as to why she should stay for another year with the team. Basically, it’s now become a “get-ready-to-fight-for-your-life” situation for her and for the team if this program doesn’t take a big step forward towards success, the post-season is pretty much out of the question for them.

  9. cappie the dog November 29, 2018 6:30 pm


    Finally, somebody who cares about this program as much as I do.

    Thank you so much for this post.

    I remember when a Kiwi named Tanya Brunton asked aloud to Coach Vince Goo, “Why don’t people love us,” before the start of a game. The only instance when people packed the Stan Sheriff Center was to see Hawaii play BYU in the third round of the NIT. This is the season that Hawaii’s best player quit because the team got spurned by the NCAA Tournament. But Crystal Lee stepped it up and became the team leader.

    I have watched Megan Huff twice on webcasts. My only real gripe against Coach Beeman, whom I respect, and I have written this so many times to complete utter indifference, is that she had her most talented back-up a player who was functional at best. You could see the difference between Huff and her peers. Huff, I think, is averaging a double-double, and Utah is undefeated.

    The transfer of Megan Huff derailed Laura Beeman’s program.

    The transfer of Chelsea Wagner derailed Vince Goo’s program.

  10. Bowsfan December 1, 2018 5:24 am

    How’s are recruit from Alaska after the earthquake.

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