A season of pleasant surprises turned into a difficult finish for the University of Hawaii on Wednesday.
Cal State Fullerton placed four players in double figures and ousted the third-seeded Rainbow Wahine 66-51 in the quarterfinals of the Big West Conference women’s basketball tournament at Irvine, Calif.
Mya Oliver scored 17 points, Chante Miles 13, Annie Park 12 and Tailer Butler 10 to lead the eighth-seeded Titans (11-21).
Kamilah Martin led Hawaii (17-13) with 15 points and 13 rebounds, but she was the lone Rainbow Wahine in double figures. Teammates Monica DeAngelis and Ashleigh Karaitiana each had nine points and Shawna-Lei Kuehu eight.
Former Hilo High standout Vicky Tagalicod played 16 minutes for Hawaii and didn’t score while ex-Kamehameha/Waiakea star Kanisha Bello played just two minutes and drained a 3-pointer.
The game was tied 25-25 at the intermission. But Cal State Fullerton then outscored the Laura Beeman-coached Rainbow Wahine 41-26 in the second half.
Neither team shot well from the field, but the Titans held a big advantage at the free-throw line. They made 17 of 23 while Hawaii was 4 of 7. The Rainbow Wahine also turned the ball over 22 times compared to Cal State Fullerton’s 13.
The quick Titans also had 17 steals, leading to some easy baskets. Hawaii had six steals.
Cal State Fullerton plays top-seeded Pacific in Friday’s semifinal round.
Hawaii’s season may be over unless the hustling Rainbow Wahine receive an invitation to the WNIT or WBI.
CS-Fullerton 25 41 — 66
Hawaii 25 26 — 51