Expectations are rising for the Rainbow Wahine basketball team.
So although Hawaii opened the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Shootout with a 14-point win on Friday, there wasn’t a celebratory tone in head coach Laura Beeman’s postgame comments.
“It really comes down to when you want to be great, things aren’t going to be easy,” Beeman said after a 72-58 win over Prairie View A&M. “You have to work through every game, even when they’re tough you can’t lower your standards.
“Great teams get better and we didn’t get better tonight.”
While the Rainbow Wahine (4-1) did enough to get past the Lady Panthers (0-4), they left the court
knowing they’ll need a sharper effort against No. 5 Stanford (3-2) on Saturday.
“We had to focus on Prairie View before we could worry about Stanford,” UH forward Shawlina Segovia said. “With Stanford we just have to have a different focus than we did today and whole different mind-set than we did today.”
After UH fell behind 8-0 on Friday, Segovia sparked UH off the bench and finished with a season-high 14 points and center Connie Morris led the Wahine for the second straight game with 15 points. The posts shot a collective 14-for-18, though Beeman is looking for a stronger effort on the boards after they combined for five rebounds between them.
UH shot a season-best 56.9 percent from the field but Beeman was annoyed by UH’s 21 turnovers and Prairie View’s 15 offensive rebounds as well as a 12-for-23 performance from the free-throw line. UH was 5-for-12 from the line in the second half.
The Wahine held the Panthers without a field goal for the final 7:46 while ending the game on a 14-2 run to pull away after Prairie View closed to within two.
Beeman said the defensive effort down the stretch was “just what we needed to do.”
“That’s the frustrating thing,” she said. “If we do that even for 20 minutes or 22 minutes tonight, it’s a much different ballgame. All of a sudden they get to within two and we decide to play a little bit. … You’re playing with fire.”
The Wahine will face a Stanford team that goes 6-foot-3 along in the front line with 5-7 guards Lili Thompson and Amber Orrange running the backcourt.
The Cardinal struggled through a rough shooting night in a 70-54 loss to North Carolina in Friday’s opening game. Thompson led the Cardinal with 15 points on 6-for-18 shooting. The Cardinal shot 20 percent in the first half (6-for-30) and 30.9 for the game. Orrange went 1-for-6 from the field and finished with six points.
No. 11 North Carolina 70, No. 5 Stanford 54
North Carolina guard Latifah Coleman hit four of the Tar Heels’ 12 3-pointers and No. 11 UNC (5-0) earned its third win over a ranked opponent this season by knocking off the fifth-ranked Cardinal in the opening game of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Shootout Friday afternoon at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Coleman, who entered the game with eight points this season, finished with a game-high 19 on 7-for-12 shooting from the field to go along with with six assists and six rebounds. Xylina McDaniel added 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting and Stephanie Mavunga had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Lili Thompson was Stanford’s lone player in double figures with 15 points as the Cardinal (3-2) shot 31 percent (17-for-55) from the field and lost for the second time in three games since beating No. 1 Connecticut on Nov. 17.
North Carolina ended last season with a loss to Stanford in the NCAA tournament regional finals and never trailed in Friday’s rematch. After Stanford closed to 39-34 with 13:41 left, North Carolina hit six 3-pointers in a 23-6 run to pull away.