The University of Hawai'i women's basketball season ended in the opening round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament as the team was defeated by the Saint Mary Gaels, 67-43, at the McKeon Pavilion Friday night.
"Coming into tonight, we knew it was going to be a tough matchup for us," head coach Laura Beeman said. "Saint Mary's is an extremely well-coached team, and I believe they can make a deep run in the WNIT."
The Wahine were 4-2 in the month of March, making their way into the postseason as a wild card in the WNIT.
UH started off strong, winning the first quarter 15-14 and was able to extend that lead to four points early into the second quarter. The Gaels came firing back, outscoring the Wahine 19-5 for the remaining nine minutes of the second quarter.
UH was outscored by St. Mary’s 21-6 in the third quarter, combining for a 40-14 advantage between the two middle quarters. UH was able to outscore St. Mary’s in the fourth quarter but it was not enough as the Gaels won 67-43.
UH sophomore forward Amy Atwell led the team with 12 points and four rebounds while hitting two-of-five from beyond the arc and four-for-four from the free throw line. Sophomore center Lauren Rewers finished with eight points and led the Wahine in rebounds with nine.
UH surpassed the win total of the previous two seasons, finishing this season with a final record of 15-17. The Rainbow Wahine finished as runner ups in the Big West Conference and made their first WNIT appearance since 2015.
Seniors Tia Kanoa, Leah Salanoa, Lahni Salanoa and Rachel Odumu are all scheduled to graduate in the spring, while eight players are projected to return next season.
"I'm incredibly proud of this team and tonight's outcome doesn't change anything about what we accomplished," Beeman said. "They overcame so much adversity to get to this point, and it was incredible to coach them and be a part of it."