Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Rainbow Wahine Find Gold as They Advance

Courtesy of Zyaire Porter/T.G.Sportstv1
The University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine led wire to wire to defeat Cal Poly Pomona Mustangs 71-50 in the night cap of opening round of the Big West Women's Basketball Tournament Tuesday.

"We had pretty good energy coming into the game," said Hawaii coach Laura Beeman. "We had good pace on offense and were able to stop them in transition."

There was often gold at the end of the rainbow jumpers when Olivia Crawford shot the ball from behind the arc for Hawaii. In a first half where both teams struggle to make baskets, Crawford made three of her four three-point attempts.

"Once Liv [Crawford] gets going, it's really good for our team," said Hawaii guard Brianna Harris. "She brought the energy from the jump. Her defense led to our offense. I'm glad what she got today."

Cal Poly shot 9-30 and Hawaii was 10-24 in a non descript first half that saw the Rainbow Wahine lead the Mustangs 28-21 at the break. The Mustang's Hannah Gilbert scored 14 of her team's 21 points.

"I think in the first half [Gilbert] got 14 of their points and another person only had four," said Beeman. "If that's going to be their scoring balance, I'm okay with that."

The second half was much more entertaining as both teams increased the tempo, which played to the advantage of Hawaii because they continued to lean on Crawford, who scored 10 points in the third period.

"Once I hit one, then I hit another one... my teammates were giving me a lot of energy," said Crawford.

Cal Poly were outscored 16-23 in the third period and were only able to stay within reach only because of Gilbert's nine points in the stanza. The game got away from them and they were never able to close the margin.

The Mustangs didn't have their lucky horse shoes tonight as they didn't make a single three pointer in the game.

Hawaii plays CSUN in the second round.

Key stat
Three-point field goals: Hawaii 10-22, Cal Poly 0-11

Top performers
Oliva Crawford, Hawaii - Blazing hot shooting stroke all night as she made five of seven three-point attempts. She made eight of eleven overall en route to her 21 points.

Brianna Harris, Hawaii - Efficiently supplemented Crawford by being making a perfect 3-3 from deep en route to scoring 16 points. She also made xx from the charity stripe

Hannah Gilbert, Cal Poly - Gilbert scored a game-high 26 points and single handedly kept the Mustangs in the game until Hawaii went on a run midway through the third quarter. She was 12-23 from the field.

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