Rainbow Wahine basketball team rallies, falls short to NMSU, 75-67
New Mexico State hammered Hawai‘i early for the second straight game, then barely held on for a 75-67 women’s basketball win tonight.
The Western Athletic Conference game was watched by 506 at Stan Sheriff Center.
The Rainbow Wahine (9-14) dropped to 3-7 while NMSU (16-8) won its third straight to move to 6-4.
Breanna Arbuckle led Hawai‘i with 16 points while Allie Patterson and Julita Bungatte added 11 apiece.
Madison Spence scored 17 for the Aggies and Crystal Boyd had 16.
After falling behind 46-32 at halfitme, Hawai‘i outscored NMSU 18-8 to start the second half, cutting its deficit to 54-50,.
The Aggies pulled away again, before the Rainbows put together one final surge. They got within one at 67-66, with 2:30 showing, then forced a turnover.
Hawai‘i missed two shots and NMSU hit a free throw with 1:37 to go. UH missed again and Kaitlyn Soto’s free throw made it 69-66 with less than a minute left. Boyd blocked a shot and grabbed the ball on Hawai‘i’s next possession and Soto hit two more foul shots and put it away.
The ‘Bows trailed 42-20 at halftime at New Mexico State last month. It was only a bit better this time as NMSU went on a 20-4 surge to take a 24-11 lead before the game was nine minutes old. Hawai‘i scored the next two baskets, then turned the ball over three straight times, and the Aggies converted each one.
The Rainbow Wahine connected on 54 percent of their shots and still the closest they could get before the half was 12. New Mexico State hit exactly half its shots before the break, including 5-of-10 3-pointers, and gathered 10 offensive rebounds.
The Rainbow Wahine leave tomorrow for games at Idaho Saturday, Nevada Monday and San Jose State Wednesday.