Rainbow Wahine earn 1st win against San Francisco in Bank of Hawai’i Classic

Rainbow Wahine earn 1st win against San Francisco in Bank of Hawai’i Classic

Rainbow Wahine earn 1st win against San Francisco in Bank of Hawai’i Classic


HONOLULU — No place like home. 

After a trying road trip to open the season for the Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine basketball team that saw a tough challenge in nationally-ranked Stanford before falling in another test without preseason all-conference selection Lily Wahinekapu versus a high-quality Santa Clara squad, UH returned home for the Bank of Hawai’i Classic that featured a field of San Francisco, Idaho and Cal State Fullerton still searching for a victory. 

The Rainbow Wahine found that elusive victory Friday afternoon, using a strong defensive effort in the 3rd quarter to pull away from San Francisco and take down the Dons, 65-51. It wasn’t pretty early as San Francisco and Hawai’i traded runs in a tightly contested opening half of play. The Rainbow Wahine led the Dons, 14-12, after one and held that same two-point advantage going into halftime after USF furiously cut down the eight-point deficit in the final two minutes and 37 seconds of the quarter. 

Hawai’i responded with an impressive effort on the defensive end in the 3rd quarter, holding San Francisco to just two makes from the floor in the frame to take a 10-point advantage into the 4th quarter. The defending Big West champions held the Dons at arms’ length for the remainder of the night, knocking down a total of 12 3-pointers to pick up the first win of the year, 65-51. Brooklyn Rewers led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds for Hawai’i in the win. 

The second night of the Bank of Hawai’i Classic was not as kind to the hosting Rainbow Wahine, who fell to the Idaho Vandals on Sunday, 50-40. UH struggled offensively out of the gates once again, seeing Idaho jump out to a 14-7 lead after one quarter of play and 30-17 through 20 minutes. 

The Rainbow Wahine saw the early-season offensive woes continue, unable to muster a field goal in the final 5:06 of the first half as the deficit increased. Shooting woes weren’t the only issue facing UH as Idaho held advantages on the glass and in turnover margin, though 20% shooting on 25 shots in the 1st half played an influential role in putting the ‘Bows in a deeper pit than they could get out of. 

UH opened the 2nd half of play with a fury, outscoring the Vandals 12-3 in the 3rd quarter despite continuing to struggle keeping Idaho off of the offensive glass to make it a four-point game heading into the final 10 minutes. The Rainbow Wahine continued to keep it close throughout the 4th but could never break through, as the Vandals answered with timely baskets to close out the 50-40 victory over the tournament hosts. 

“Tough one for us tonight, from playing great team basketball on Friday to not-great team basketball tonight,” Hawai’i head coach Laura Beeman said following the loss to Idaho. “I think our energy was really flat in the 1st half, we had a really good 3rd quarter, we came out with some defensive intensity. We still didn’t score the ball like we should have, holding a team to as few points as we did, we should’ve scored the ball more, but we didn’t get off the ball, we had sticky hands.” 

Hawai’i falls to 1-3 with the weekend split and won’t be back in action until Friday evening when Air Force comes to town for the Rainbow Wahine Showdown featuring UH, AFA, Idaho State and Washington. 

Imani Perez led UH in scoring with 12 points against Idaho, securing all-tournament team honors for Hawai’i alongside junior forward Brooklyn Rewers. 

Hawai’i opens quest for three-peat with dominant showing in UH-Hilo exhibition

Hawai’i opens quest for three-peat with dominant showing in UH-Hilo exhibition

Hawai’i opens quest for three-peat with dominant showing in UH-Hilo exhibition


HONOLULU — The University of Hawai’i Rainbow Wahine basketball team opened the 2023-24 season with a bang on Wednesday night, not losing a single quarter in the 67-39 exhibition win over rival-island program UH-Hilo at the Stan Sheriff Center. 

UH started off slowly, struggling to finish inside and seeing the Vulcans score the game’s first points before ripping off a 22-3 run to close the opening 10 minutes with the lead, 22-5. In the frame, the ‘Bows knocked down four 3-pointers (two each from guards Olivia Davies and Meilani McBee) and shot 50% from the floor. 

The Rainbow Wahine continued to work into form in the 2nd quarter, trading buckets with UH-Hilo and working through a tighter whistle by the officials on defense. While the score kept UH-Hilo at arms’ length, the Rainbow Wahine still felt as though there was meat left on the bone. 

“The 1st quarter was great on both sides of the ball,” Hawai’i HC Laura Beeman said postgame. “Then, I thought quarters two, three and four really slipped. I thought we played really fun basketball in the 1st quarter… we can’t have slippage in our execution.” 

The ‘Bows entered the locker rooms leading by 20, seeing nine different players record buckets and three new faces making their UH debuts between freshmen Jade Peacock and Vivienne Berrett and Michigan State transfer Brooklyn Rewers.  

The 3rd quarter presented more of the same as UH showed off the impressive depth it boasts at every position, pushing the lead to as much as 29 in the period. Again, it was McBee buoying the offense with six points in the frame, hitting two more triples. 

Hawai’i struggled to score in the final quarter of play, mustering a game-low 11 points in the quarter as Beeman and staff toyed with lineups and gave additional burn to depth pieces getting accustomed to the ‘Bows culture. Even in a quarter that saw UH shoot under 22% from the floor, the Rainbow Wahine’s defense stood strong to hold UH-Hilo to 11 points in the final 10 minutes. 

Hawai’i-Hilo was led by Noelle Sua-Godinet’s nine points and four boards, followed closely behind by Kaile Cruz’s seven points in the loss. The exhibition marked Sua-Godinet’s first game-action since March 2022. The Vulcans kick off the regular season on November 10 at HPU’s “Shark Tank” against #15 Montana State Billings. 

The Rainbow Wahine were led by McBee’s 13 points, hitting four 3-pointers and hauling in six rebounds in the win. Berrett chipped in 11 points, reaching double-digits in her first collegiate action as 10 different ‘Bows scored in the win. 

Hawai’i opens the season on the road next Wednesday, November 8 against #15 Stanford as part of a gauntlet non-conference schedule to prepare the two-time defending Big West tournament champions to defend the titles for another year. 

“[Stanford]’s good, they’re really good. They’re 15th for a reason,” Beeman chuckled when asked what needed to improve in a week’s time. “We have to rebound much, much better and pursue the ball better… Stanford is where they are because they’re skilled, but they also do all of the little things with the communication, the intensity, the follow-through and they play at a level the entire time and I know that’s something we can get to.” 

It’s a tough test. It’s a purposeful one, too. 

“We’re going to go in there and we’re going to be ready to play,” Beeman stated. “We’re not backing down to anybody, we have to be able to go for four quarters.”