Two days after picking up win No. 1, the Rainbow Wahine basketball team takes on New Mexico State today in the finale of the Bank of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine Classic.
Tipoff at the Stan Sheriff Center is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. following today’s 2 p.m. opener between Youngstown State and Sacramento State.
Both UH (1-2) and NMSU (2-1) opened the tournament with wins on Friday. NMSU pulled away from Sacramento State 99-73 and the Rainbow Wahine were in control throughout a 72-50 win over Youngstown State.
Six NMSU players scored in double figures on Friday with freshman forward and Farrington graduate Jeneva Toilolo, guard Brooke Salas and 6-foot-4 forward Tyesha Taylor each finishing with 16 points. UH had a similarly balanced performance with six players contributing at least eight points led by point guard Olivia Crawford’s 13.
UH coach Laura Beeman altered the starting five on Friday with freshman Julissa Tago making her first start and senior Briana Harris coming off the bench. Harris reprised her role of last season providing production off the bench with 12 points and freshman forward Keleah-Aiko Koloi scored 10 points while hitting all five of her field-goal attempts in her collegiate debut. Lahni Salanoa posted her first double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
UH’s ball-handling will be tested by NMSU, the defending Western Athletic Conference champion. The Aggies force an average of 19.4 turnovers per game so far while holding their three opponents to 39 percent shooting.
“They’re going to put pressure on us. They’re very quick paced in everything they do,” Beeman said. “So we’re going to have to contain the drive a little bit better, we’re going to have to make sure we get down the floor in transition. We cannot allow their defensive pressure to get us moving fast.”