Wahine burned again in final seconds

Laura Beeman, seen here in the season opener against Pepprdine, and her Rainbow Wahine are 0-2 for the second time in three years. / Photo by Darryl Oumi, Special to the Star-Advertiser

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.


  1. islandman November 9, 2018 11:25 am

    Close but no cigar.

  2. Change is Good November 9, 2018 11:55 am

    Time to replace Coach Beeman.

  3. H-Man November 9, 2018 12:16 pm

    Wahine fought…again. But lost. Why did Tia take a 3-pt shot with 40-seconds left? Driving the basket hoping for SDSU to foul would have been my choice with the lead and the ball. Ahhh, I know, hindsight is 20/20.

  4. cappie the dog November 9, 2018 6:31 pm

    No, no, you are right on the money.

    Tia Kanoa is not a pure shooter.

    She was 17-72 from the arc last season.

    Overall, she was 30% from the field.

    Kanoa is by far Hawaii’s best point guard since Kanekoa.

    But if you’re shooting 24% from three-point range, that is an ill-advised shot.

  5. cappie the dog November 9, 2018 6:35 pm

    8 points and 6 rebounds a game; that should be Lauren Rewers’ goal.

    She is not there yet.

    Let Rewers make her mistakes during the non-conference schedule.

    Hawaii needs her to be game-ready to face the likes of Fluker.

  6. Casual Observer November 10, 2018 11:42 am

    Not to say its an easy transition, but the Wahine BB should get Natasha Burns from VB. No idea of her basketball background but she seems athletic and smart enough; and of course you can’t teach size.

  7. cappie the dog November 10, 2018 2:49 pm

    There is a history.

    When Kim Willoughby joined the squad, I think she led the team in scoring.

    I checked.

    She did.

    Tara Hittle was a two-year letterman and outscored quite a few scholarship players.

    Kalei Adolpho was a three-year letterman.

    If Burns played basketball in high school, she will fit right in.

  8. bowsfan November 10, 2018 6:23 pm

    If Sarah Liva from volleyball has eligibility which I think she has & wants to play. She was a center on HPU, I can her like Woodfolk. She’d probably like to be on scholarship.

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