Tucson, AZ — Arizona (3-7) returned to their home court after coming off of a 39-point win last week, but were unable to break through their struggles as a young team defensively, blowing a seven point fourth quarter lead and losing to the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine (6-4) 65-60 on Sunday.
Arizona guard Julia Bennett was great offensively in the first quarter, but wasn't able to improve defensively with her team’s rhythm in pick and rolls and early transitions. Hawaii, on the other hand, was hot from the floor early on with their guards doing all their damaging in the paint.
The second-quarter allowed for Arizona to tighten up and improve the passing game but Hawaii's ball movement exceeded the Wildcats. Arizona was able to stay with the Rainbow Wahine with enough free throws, as well as shooting a last second shot to take the lead of 30-28 at the half.
Hawaii had been consistently attacking the basket and sharing the ball well, while Arizona made it harder on themselves offensively with their lack of depth and aggressive defense.
Returning from the half, Hawaii lacked the same energy they had in the first half. The Rainbow Wahine failed to capitalize on their opportunities at the line, falling behind 47-40 going into the final frame.
The final quarter showed Hawaii getting back to the basket and showing the physical strength the Wildcats struggled to contain. Arizona’s Julia Bennett fouled out and limited the team's rhythm to end strong. Hawaii outscored Arizona 25-13 in the final quarter to complete the comeback.
Tia Kanoa led Hawaii with 14 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while Lucia Alonso led Arizona with 21 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
Arizona returns to the court Wednesday to host Southern Utah (1-8), while Hawaii will host No. 19 Texas A&M (9-2) on Wednesday.
#WOW! FORGET the #Patriots-#Steelers game, this game was BONKERS -- AWESOME!.Posted by Swish Appeal on Sunday, December 17, 2017