The University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine basketball team got a big 51-44 win against UC Riverside on the road Thursday night at the SRC Arena in California.
"It wasn't pretty, but it was a win we had to work for," said head coach Laura Beeman. "Our young players came up big for us, you look at the timely rebounds Jadynn (Alexander) was able to pull down in the fourth quarter, and how well Myrrah (Joseph) played for us throughout the entire night, this shows we're starting to build on our confidence."
The Rainbow Wahine (13-15, 9-6) continued their chase for the No. 2 seed of the Big West Conference tournament. After tonight’s win, it solidified UH having at least one bye in the conference tournament. The Wahine are currently No. 3 following the win against the Highlanders (15-13, 9-6), and cannot fall lower than No. 4.
UH and UCR battled throughout the evening with neither team expanding its lead to double-digits. After being tied up at the half 23-23, UH scored a game-high 16 points in the third quarter to separate themselves from UCR. They took a 39-36 lead into the final quarter of play.
Clutch shooting by junior guard Courtney Middap from beyond the arc kept UH in front of UCR in the closing minutes. The Wahine played aggressively on defense throughout the fourth quarter, only allowing one field goal in the final 90 seconds of the game.
Freshman forward Myrrah Joseph led the way with 14 points and seven rebounds, which were both team highs. Senior guard Tia Kanoa followed with 11 points and a game-high five assists. Middap's big fourth quarter gave her 10 points while pulling down four rebounds.
As a team, UH won the rebounding battle for the fifth game in a row, 40-37, and the bench scoring heavily favored the Wahine, 23-0.
Next up will be the regular season finale with UH visiting CSUN on Saturday at 2 p.m. HST. UH dropped the previous matchup against the Matadors on Jan. 17, when the 'Bows were held to a season-low in the 49-29 loss.