Rainbow Wahine roll over Spartans, 76-61
A successful road trip was just what the University of Hawai'i women's basketball team needed.
Janevia Taylor tied her career-high with 23 points, and Hawai'i upset host San Jose State, 76-61, in a Western Athletic Conference game last night before 922 at The Event Center.
The Rainbow Wahine (13-7 overall, 4-5 WAC) defeated the Spartans (10-9, 4-3) for the first time in their past six meetings, and earned their first conference road sweep under second-year coach Jim Bolla. Hawai'i defeated host Idaho, 66-60, Thursday.
"The kids did a great job," said Bolla, whose team entered the road trip having lost five of its past six games. "Two conference road wins, I couldn't be more proud of how they played the last two games."
The Rainbow Wahine moved into a tie for fourth in the WAC with Nevada and New Mexico State. San Jose State remained in third.
Hawai'i's Amy Sanders had 15 points, five rebounds and six assists, and Tanya Smith got her second career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Taylor added eight rebounds and five assists.
San Jose State's Lamisha Augustine had 22 points and 14 rebounds. Amber Jackson added 14 points and Anetero Uiagalelei 11 points.
Bolla went with a smaller and quicker lineup, starting four guards — Taylor, Amy Kotani, Amy Sanders and Dalia Solia — with 6-foot-4 center Brittany Grice.
Hawai'i's 2-3 zone and 2-2-1 press slowed the Spartans early in the game, and allowed the Rainbow Wahine to build three eight-point leads in the first half.
For the game, the Spartans fizzled from the field, shooting 32 percent (20 of 62). Hawai'i shot 43 percent (25 of 58).
"We felt they didn't shoot the ball well from the outside," Bolla said of why UH went to a 2-3 zone.
Hawai'i surged from a 14-14 tie with an 8-0 run — led by Smith's four points — to grab a 22-14 lead. Smith scored 10 first-half points as the Rainbow Wahine led 32-25 at intermission.
Kotani's 3-pointer sparked a 9-2 run to open the second half as Hawai'i took a 41-27 lead. The Spartans closed to 45-36 on a pair of foul shots by Brittany Imaku, but would get no closer the rest of the game.
Taylor and Grice helped Hawai'i put the game away with a 16-7 run for a 61-43 lead. Taylor scored seven points and Grice five during surge. For the game, Hawai'i got 21 assists on 25 field goals.