Hawaii women’s basketball: Fast tempo plus taking care of the ball equals high shooting percentage

Hawaii’s Nae Nae Calhoun scored two points after a steal in the fourth quarter. / Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell, Star-Advertiser

In a statistical onslaught such as the University of Hawaii women’s basketball team’s 94-70 crushing on UC Irvine on Thursday, the shiny objects are the shooting numbers — especially from 3-point range. The Wahine made 14-of-28 from beyond the arc, and it seemed like more. It is the fifth time this year UH has made 10 or more 3-pointers. And in those games, Hawaii is 4-1.

Julissa Tago, who made five of 13, is moving up the all-time long-range shooting career leaders list, to fourth.


Jadynn Alexander made two of her three bombs early in the game, getting the Wahine started on the first-quarter run that would keep them safely ahead of the Anteaters the rest of the way.

Amy Atwell hit three from beyond the arc as well.

But how about the line of guard Nae Nae Calhoun? Things like assists and steals often go unnoticed in games like this. But even though Calhoun was one of the five Wahine in double-figure scoring, with 12 points that included two 3-pointers on two tries, her other stats were interesting and contributed mightily to the win.

She led UH with seven assists and a career-high four steals. Now, pair those seven assists with ZERO turnovers and you’ve got something quite special indeed.

As a team, the Wahine dished out 18 helpers to each other while committing just seven turnovers.

And, considering the fast pace Hawaii coach Laura Beeman has her team playing at now, those assist-to-turnover numbers are as impressive as 50 percent 3-point shooting (51.4 percent overall).

Well, they are to at least some of us.

If you like to analyze the game a little deeper than shooting percentages, those assists and turnovers go to show the Rainbow Wahine are not just running up and down the court as fast as they can, and jacking up any old shot.

Assist-to-turnovers of a 2:1 ratio or better for a team is always good, for any kind of style of play. But especially when Beeman’s mantra has become “Shoot that thang!” the Wahine are doing a version of what John Wooden famously said: They’ve learned to be quick without hurrying.

Then again, we can also look at it UH having fewer turnovers because it’s launching shots before it can lose the ball. That might be something you surmise if all you do is look at stats. If you actually watch them play, you’ll see Hawaii is moving the ball quickly but carefully, and everyone is ready to shoot if they’re open — and that’s how you get the kind of results we saw Thursday night.


  1. H-Man January 31, 2020 12:17 pm

    That was a different team last night. Quite impressive performance.

  2. Larry Lee January 31, 2020 2:08 pm

    I’ve been a booster member for six years and last night by far was one of the best performances start to finish. At football we got run and shoot now with Coach Beeman we got run ,shoot and win.I see a Very different team in these last nine games this season straight into the big west tournament I’m making a trip to Anaheim how say you…

  3. Casual Observer February 1, 2020 6:38 am

    Would like to note that this group doesn’t have size but they have better athletic ability and good basketball IQ than teams past; along with Beeman’s decision to open up the offense means that they play with confidence and as a team. Several years ago they would miss under the basket shots that were frustrating to watch or mishandle the ball or make bad decisions even though these were D1 scholarship athletes. Great to see growth and success; fun to watch.

  4. seenya citizen February 3, 2020 7:35 pm

    I had a hard time watching Wahine basketball games in the past because they always had too many turnovers, always double digits and sometimes close to twenty. Most of the turnovers were avoidable. At least these days they are fun to watch due to the low turnover rate and unbelievable shooting. They now more fun to watch than the men. They just need a center who can score around the basket. Myra may be that person next year if she develops her inside game. She is still a bull in a china shop but getting better.

Comments are closed.