Nov. 27, 1999
HONOLULU -- The Washington women's basketball team suffered a poor shooting night and dropped its semi-final game, 73-59, to host Hawaii in its second game of the Rainbow Wahine Tournament.
Washington drops to 2-3 and will face Virginia at 1:20 p.m. HST (3:20 PST) Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center. It will mark the first meeting between the two teams. Hawaii improves to 3-2 overall and will play Texas in the championship game at 3:30 p.m. HST. The Longhorns (3-1) downed the Cavaliers (1-2), 78-73, in the final game Saturday.
Loree Payne led four Huskies in double figure scoring with 17 points, but it was not enough as Washington fell behind early and could never catch up. Melissa Erickson had a career-high 13 points and Megan Franza added 12. Kellie O'Neill had the second double-double of her young career with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Hawaii was led by Dainora Puida, who made her first six shots of the game and finished with a game-high 19 points.
Erickson put Washington on the board first with a short jumper in the opening minutes and then Payne took over as she scored 13 of Washington's first 16 points. She hit a layup and back-to-back three pointers to make it 10-6 in the Huskies favor. Hawaii took the lead with an eight point outburst before Payne hit her third straight trey to pull back within one, 14-13 at the halfway mark of the first period. Hawaii never trailed again and led by as many as 11 before taking an eight point lead, 36-28, at the break. Washington was 9-of-39 (23 percent) from the field at that point.
UW opened the second half with an 8-0 run, started by a Franza three pointer. Autrey added a bucket and picked up the foul, hitting her free throw to cut Hawaii's lead to two, 38-36. Hawaii answered with its own 11-0 run to move its lead back up to 13. In between, Washington had a chance to pull within six after a technical on the Hawaii bench but Payne missed both free throw opportunities. Erickson was the next spark for the Huskies, dropping in three straight baskets to close the gap to nine, 42-51, but that was a close as UW would get the rest of the way.
Washington outrebounded UH, 48-44, but shot just 28 percent (21-74) from the field for the game. Hawaii connected on 44 percent (24-54) of its attempts.
"This was the exact opposite of our win over Portland," said UW coach June Daugherty. " Our defense, especially in the second half, lost the game. It was little fundamental things we didnt execute. We didn't do a good job of picking on the basketball. We've got a long way to go as a basketball team. We didnt get it done defensively. Hawaii got a lot of easy looks. I like that we outrebounded them, but we couldn't convert. We didn't shoot well. We got second shots, but we couldnt finish. Hawaii ended up with a lot of easy looks at the basket.
"We are a work in progress," Daugherty continued. "A lot of times today, we had three freshmen on the floor. They are working hard and learning every game. Down the road, that is going to come back and help us. We have a great opportunity to finish third in this tournament. Right now, tomorrow is our biggest game of the year and we need to get out there and take care of business."
"We are starting to establish our inside game," said Erickson. "I tried to give our guards confidence to get the ball inside. I hope I can be consistent and we can get some scoring from the low block. Our shots were off. Our guards did a great job of trying to create. Our defense didn't do it though. We needed to trap on the pick and roll. We need to do the little things."
In earlier action on the second day of the Wahine Classic, Grambling beat Long Beach State, 79-74, and Portland defeated Virginia Commonwealth, 70-59.
Rainbow Wahine Classic
Hawaii 73 Washington 59