Kirstie Williams delivered from deep, lifting the University of Hawaii at Hilo women’s basketball team into the postseason.
Williams nailed six 3-pointers and scored 22 points Thursday night as the Vulcans beat Holy Names 70-61 at UHH Gym.
Kamie Imai scored 12 points and McKenzie Mangino added 19 for UHH (8-13, 7-10 Pacific West Conference), which secured a berth to the six-team PacWest playoffs for the second straight season.
Sonia Aguilar scored a game-high 31 points for the Hawks (9-14, 6-12), including going 16 of 16 from the free-throw line. Holy Names wasn’t eligible to reach the league playoffs, which will be held March 6-8 in San Diego.
The Vulcans never trailed after Williams opened the game with a 3-pointer, and they built their lead to as many as 15 points in each half.
“When you play with the lead it makes you feel better about the situation,” UHH coach David Kaneshiro said. “I thought we were pretty solid tonight … on both ends. It wasn’t perfect but pretty good.”
Williams stood out on a night when others struggled from 3-point range. Williams was 6 of 9, while the rest of her teammates went 2 for 13.
Holy Names finished 3 of 14 from beyond the arc.
Williams and Imai each grabbed five rebounds, while Imai and Jordan Kealoha each garnered five assists for UHH, which shot 41.7 percent from the floor.
Renique Fitzpatrick added 19 points for Holy Names, going 8 of 12 from the floor. The Hawks, who held a 34-29 rebounding advantage, shot only 34 percent.
UHH hosts Notre dame de Namur at 5 p.m. Monday.
Golf: UHH’s men’s golf team slipped into last place at the John Burns Intercollegiate, shooting a 304 in the second round at Wailua Golf Course on Kauai.
California (16-under 560) increased it lead to nine shots.
The highlight for the Vulcans (602) was senior Corey Kozuma, who fired an even-par 72 and was 3-over 147 and in a tie for 35th place.
“Everybody besides Corey played bad,” coach Earl Tamiya said. “It wasn’t pretty.”
Chris Shimomura (76) was tied for 64th in the field of 90 at 151, and another shot back were Kyeton Littel and Dalen Yamauchi, who each carded 78s. Christian Agosto (82) had a 161 that also counted toward UHH’s score. The Vulcans’ Nick Matsushima (78) was at 11-over.
“We hope to come back tomorrow and play a decent round and get some momentum heading into our Division II season,” Tamiya said.
Brigham Young’s Justin Keiley (66) took a four-shot lead into the final round at 10-under.
BYU and Texas A&M (569) were tied for second, New Mexico (577) was fourth, and UTEP and Arizona (580) were tied for fifth.