It was a different site but the same result for the Hawaii women’s basketball team.
The Rainbow Wahine rallied from nine points down in the fourth quarter at San Diego State to take a lead on Leah Salanoa’s free throws with 1:27 left, but SDSU’s Tea Adams drove for the go-ahead basket with 7.1 seconds left and UH was off the mark on its final possession in a 58-57 afternoon loss at Viejas Arena.
UH, which dropped to 0-2 for the second time in three years, lost 65-64 at home to Pepperdine on Tuesday when the Waves hit a go-ahead shot with 9.8 seconds left and the Wahine could not answer coming out of a timeout.
“It was a pretty frustrated, pretty sad locker room,” coach Laura Beeman said in a postgame phone interview. “You put yourself in position to win a ballgame and you don’t, it hurts. And this is the second game with a one-point loss. There’s things we have to continue to work on and clean up. Our first half has to get better; we have to close the first half out better. This is the second time that we’ve really kind of had brain lapses at the end of the first half and have given up points. We did it again today. When you lose a game by one, you can’t afford to give up a 3 at the (halftime) buzzer.”
On its final possession, UH called timeout to advance the ball and guard Courtney Middap drove from the top of the key all the way to the rim, but her layup bounced off and out of bounds with 0.6 seconds left. SDSU inbounded and the game ended before the Wahine could take a foul.
“Nine out of 10 times, Courtney makes that layup. Period,” Beeman said. “I think she doubted whether she should stride it out or go up two (feet). In the game, big lights, bright lights, but she makes that nine out of 10 times. It was a great look. We wanted a layup and we got a layup. So I’m happy with the look we got.”
Kenna Woodfolk led UH on Friday with 16 points, but she shot 4-for-9 at the free-throw line after going 7-for-7 in the season opener. Salanoa scored all of her 15 points in the second half and grabbed six rebounds. Julissa Tago scored 12 of her 13 points in the first half for UH, which trailed 32-25 at halftime and 49-40 going into the fourth quarter.
Adams scored a team-high 15 points for the Aztecs (1-0). Before Adams’ game-winning shot, Tia Kanoa missed an open 3 that could’ve pushed the UH lead to four with 40 seconds left.
UH committed 10 turnovers in the first half Friday but cut those down to three in the second half for 13 for the game.
Sophomore center Lauren Rewers went down with an apparent knee injury in the first half but returned to briefly play in the second half before exiting again. Beeman didn’t know her immediate status going forward.
“We still have some issues on the boards. We’re going to have to clean those up. We don’t have a lot of depth in the post right now, and that’s going to continue to haunt us until we get healthy,” Beeman said. “We’re going to have to rotate and do some different things. But to take care of the ball better in the second half than the first half, I’m happy about that. We had some wide-open looks in the second half, we just didn’t hit them. As the season goes on we’ll hit those shots. So, never ever happy with a loss, but I am in a great place with this team. This team is in a great place with themselves; they know that we’re a good team. We just have to continue to work so we can win ballgames instead of lose them by one.”
The Wahine conclude their road trip at San Diego on Sunday.