Rainbow Wahine edge Matadors, secure No. 2 seed

The Maui News

The University of Hawaii women’s basketball team held off Cal State Northidge for a 69-68 win in Northridge, Calif., on Saturday, securing the No. 2 seed for this week’s Big West Conference tournament.

The Rainbow Wahine (14-15, 10-6 Big West) ended the regular season on a three-game winning streak.

Amy Atwell led UH with 18 points and six rebounds, while Leah Salanoa scored 16 points, going 4-for-5 from 3-point range. Tia Kanoa added 10 assists, falling two shy of Tricia Stringham’s school record set in 1992.

The Rainbow Wahine led 36-30 at halftime and 67-60 going into the last five minutes of the game. Cal State Northridge (16-14, 10-6) went on an 8-2 run that started with back-to-back layups by Serafina Maulupe. With 15 seconds left, the Matadors call a timeout. After the team break, Channon Fluker attempted a game-winning 3-pointer but barely missed, giving the Rainbow Wahine the win they needed for a double-bye in the conference tournament.

Maulupe finished with 24 points. Fluker added 20 points and 15 rebounds.

UH is set to play in the Big West semifinals on Friday at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., at 11:30 a.m. HST.